Employment Support to Youth is Urgently Needed

Roy Jankielsohn MPL

DA Leader in the Free State

There are currently 4.5 million unemployed people in South Africa, with 72% of them younger than 34. Fewer than 50% of current matriculants will hold jobs before the age of 24. Qwaqwa likewise has many unemployed youths who require us, as politicians, to create an opportunity based environment for them.

Sadly, as I drove through Qwaqwa again last week I saw many formerly active factories and businesses standing empty.

The youth unemployment crisis can be addressed, among others, by a youth wage subsidy. In addition to this, entrepreneurship is another key way to help young people achieve economic independence. With the announcement this week that 440 000 small businesses in South Africa have failed in the last five years, despite the small business sector accounting for 68% of all employment, it is becoming increasingly vital for government to ensure entrepreneurs are given adequate support.

As a part of the DA Youth’s ongoing drive to encourage government to facilitate increased levels of entrepreneurship among young people, the DA Youth highlighted some of their innovative proposals for encouraging young entrepreneurs. These include:

* A youth entrepreneurship collateral fund, which would see government standing surety for young entrepreneurs who qualify based on the merit of submitted business plans to access commercial/private sector credit;

* A review of the municipal supply chain policy to include tender points for bidding companies that are majority owned by the under 35’s;

* Opportunity vouchers for passing matriculants that could be used to subsidize a small business or pursue tertiary education;

* Tax breaks for experienced business owners who enter a mentoring programme with young entrepreneurs.

* The reintroduction of a business services vouchers programme to provide young entrepreneurs with access to subsidized business services.

* A mandatory intensification of entrepreneurial studies within the Life Orientation curriculum.

* An expansion of career guidance testing to include entrepreneurship as a viable career path.

* A national entrepreneurship campaign that would see the consolidation of government entrepreneurship resources into one streamlined, publicized and easily accessible repository.

In this way the DA youth continue to supply innovative alternatives for young people in our country and province.

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