14 Jun

UASA Media Release: 14 June 2024

Statement by Abigail Moyo, spokesperson of the trade union UASA:

Thirty years into democracy, the majority of young South Africans remain on the verge of the South African economy, held back by persisting socio-economic barriers, low and inadequate job security, a skills gap and no workable strategic plan to give them hope.

The Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) repeatedly reveals the unpleasant picture of our high youth unemployment, with current statistics showing that 45.5% of South Africans between15-34 old are without a job.

Youth unemployment remains a critical issue, exacerbated by the persistent mismatch between skills provided by the education system and those required by the job market, leaving our youth with limited opportunities for growth and development.

Commemorating Youth Day, on 16 June, UASA reflects on the pivotal economic role young people can and do play to better shape our country’s future. With sufficient technological skills and insight our youth should be drivers of economic growth and development.

However, the 2024 UASA South African Employment Report (SAER) revealed that current school curricula do not produce enough prospective workers with the cognitive, technical, and academic skills to fully cope with the job changes brought about by 4IR or who can optimise it to the benefit of efficiencies, product development, market penetration, sales, businesses and the broader economy in South Africa.

This is why it is crucial to invest in education and vocational training programmes that align with market needs, ensuring that young people are equipped with relevant skills.

While we urge the youth to be part of the solution to end the high unemployment rate, UASA calls on the government and private sector to intensify their efforts to create job opportunities for young people, particularly in emerging industries.

While our new government is being formed, we encourage them to include young South Africans in future policy-making to guarantee that their perspectives and needs are considered. Inclusive policy-making is the effective way to overcome the prevalent crisis that has absorbed the youth into depression and gloom.

As we honour the courage and resilience of the youth of 1976, we also celebrate the potential and promise of today’s young generation. By addressing the challenges they face and providing the necessary support, we can empower them to contribute positively to society and drive our nation forward.

UASA wishes all young South Africans a happy Youth Day.

For further enquiries or to set up a personal interview, contact Abigail Moyo at 065 170 0162.

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