The Portfolio Committee on Labour, having conducted public hearings on youth unemployment on 30 May, and 2 and 7 June 2006, reports as follows:


A.         Introduction
The Committee conducted public hearings on youth unemployment, as a follow up to the resolution it made during consideration of the report on the 93rd session of the International Labour Conference (ILC).  The issue of youth unemployment was part of the agenda of the 93rd ILC.  The public hearings were also part of the Committee programme in marking the year of the youth.  Various stakeholders were invited to participate in the hearings that were conducted on 30 May, and on 2 and 7 June 2006.  In response to adverts that were published inviting the public to make an input on the issue, the Committee received submissions and requests from individual stakeholders who were interested in making oral inputs.  The report, however, draws a summary of submissions by various stakeholders, concerns, challenges and proposals submitted, as well as findings and recommendations by the Committee.


The Committee believes that will assist in engaging government on how the issue of youth unemployment could be taken forward.  It will also assist in linking the findings of the Committee to the report of the ILO on global youth unemployment and proposals that could be implemented in South Africa.


B.         Structure of the report
The report consists of the summary of submissions, concerns, challenges, and proposals submitted and recommendations by the Committee.  These are reflected in terms of organisations that participated in the hearings. 

The report includes findings and proposals that were made from the inputs made by various stakeholders during oversight visits to KwaZulu- Natal and the Eastern Cape where public hearings on youth unemployment were also part of the programme of the visit.


The list of organisations that were invited to make submissions on 30 May, and on 2 and 7 June is as follows:


*           Department of Labour;

*           National Youth Commission;

*           South African Youth Council;

*           Disabled People of South Africa;

*           South Africa Graduates Association;

*           Umsobomvu Youth Fund; and

*           Business Unity of South Africa.


The following stakeholders made oral submissions to the Committee:


*           Quadriplegic Association of South Africa;

*           Rural Education Access Programme;

*           Free Market Foundation;

*           Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative; 

*           TUKS Afrikaanse Studente;

*           South African Youth Council (Western Cape).

*           Malamulela Social Movement for the unemployed.


Inputs were also received from the National Productivity Institute (NPI) and the following Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs):


*           BANKSETA;

*           Services SETA;

*           Wholesale & Retail SETA; and

*           Insurance SETA.


Input by the Department of Labour (DOL)


The DOL reported on its mandate of enhancing skills development and overseeing other training legislation.  The DOL, however, responded to some specific questions that were raised by the Committee, to concerns and challenges raised and the interventions that were reflected under each submission.  It also drew to the attention of the Committee and stakeholders the importance of participation by various departments in responding to the problem of youth unemployment. 


C.                  Summary of submissions


South African Youth Council (WC)


The input by SAYC (Western Cape) was a summary of concerns and recommendations that were made by various youth organisations during a recent youth summit.  The submissions made during those hearings identified stumbling blocks that were impacting on youth and education, and youth and unemployment.


The SAYC emphasised the importance of tapping into adequate resources towards training.  It stressed the need for all spheres of government to tackle the issue of unemployment robustly by providing financial assistance to youth who would like take ownership of certain programmes. More resources needed to be made available to rural areas.   


Quadriplegic Association of SA (QASA) and Disabled People of South Africa (DPSA)


The submission by QUASA emphasised the challenges faced by South African individuals with mobility-impairment and the research that was conducted by QASA and the Education, Training and Development Practices (ETDP) SETA to determine the needs perceptions and challenges that needed to be addressed in order to ensure full integration of mobility-impaired individuals into the workplace. QASA noted certain interventions that could be made by various government departments.  It welcomed that inclusion of disability minimum criteria in employment.  It noted the exclusion of disability in Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) legislation. 



QASA acknowledged that although some of its members were integrated into jobs, these were mainly based in call centres, reception work.  The concern was that the disabled youth might perceive these types of jobs as being the ceiling and might not aspire to higher levels of employment. 


A concern was raised around the inability by the Department of Health not attended adequately to rehabilitation, and the projects by the Department of Social Development (DSD) that proved to be unsuccessful.  An appeal was made to the Committee to interact with the relevant department to ensure that these concerns were addressed.  It was also noted that many disabled people feared that if they entered the job market and failed, they would lose their disability grants.  There was a concern that although the legal framework was in place, progress in terms of its enforcement was slow.


The input by DPSA raised some concerns around the impediments such as lack of exposure to the world of work and the high rate of illiteracy among the disabled youth.


The DOL indicated that the loss of grants by disabled people was a serious issue that would be raised with the relevant departments.  It also acknowledged that the allocation of funding for the disabled might not be sufficient. 


Proposals made:


*           There was a need to improve data collection in respect of disability.

*           There should be an improvement in the willingness by employers to comply with the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS) and the Skills Development Act (SDA).

*           There should be an increase in momentum for the public service to reach the 2% target by 2015.

*           There should be a change in the negative perceptions of employers about disability.

*           Communication of critical information could assist in enhancing the partnerships between SETAs and associations representing people with disabilities. 

*           There was a need to fast-track the system of integrating skills development and ensure that SETAs develop learnership programmes that would give opportunities to young people with disabilities.


The DOL stressed that more work needed to done on its involvement in the municipal Integrated Development Plans (IDPs) to ensure that people with disability were integrated.  It also called for the government to exercise greater enforcement over legislation to ensure that people with disabilities were not discriminated against.  Government needed to move faster in ensuring accessibility of the disabled to transport and buildings.     


The Committee registered its concern around government departments that did not comply with minimum targets on equity and disability.  It agreed that issues raised that affects the Departments of Health, of Transport, of Social Development and of the Department Public Works should be raised the relevant portfolio committees. It proposed a need to ascertain whether the databases on unemployed included statistics of youth with disabilities.  It was also noted that South Africa faced with a challenge of incorporating Technical Assistance Guidelines (TAGs) on employment of people with disabilities.


The Committee further proposed that people with disabilities should be included in the recruitment of Community Development Workers (CDWs) at local level.  The promotion of the Codes and TAG s relating to the employment of people with disabilities should be enhanced.


Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF)


The UYF submitted challenges facing youth in getting full employment and interventions to address such challenges.  It reiterated its commitment to working with other organisations, especially in areas such as research.  It emphasised the importance of correlating the proposed interventions to jobs. 


Proposals made


*           There is a need to increase or improve skills development and education by improving employer involvement to inform skills needs and participation in related programmes.


*           There should be an increase of self-employment through support to SMMEs and increase entrepreneurship education for self-employment.



*                 There is a need to increase activation of second economy initiatives such as Expanded Public Works Programme and National Youth Service Programme.


*                 Government should increase fixed and foreign direct investment (in relation to ASGISA identified growth industries).


*                 There is a need to evaluate the impact of labour legislation and immigration.


*                 Support to historically disadvantaged universities should be enhanced.


*                 Government should increase funding sources for students.


*                 Sector charters targets must be monitored.



Rural Education Access Programme (REAP)


The submission by REAP was on the work it did in supporting students from rural areas to access support for higher education.  REAP suggested that wider access to higher education would benefit long-term skills and employment issues.  The Committee received an input from a former student of REAP who made an appeal to government to commit itself to ensuring that youth in rural areas had access to state resources.


KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and the Eastern Cape provinces were cited as having the highest youth unemployment rate.  Conversely, the migration of young people to urban areas resulted in the growing number of unemployed youth in urban areas. 


REAP would like to expand its partnerships to include organisations or stakeholders such as the National Productivity Institute (NPI), SETAs, UYF, and the National Development Agency (NDA).   


Civil Society Prison Reform Initiative (CSPRI)


The submission by CSPRI was on the impact of imprisonment on youth accessing jobs, interventions and on proposals that may assist in removing barriers that made it difficult for ex-offenders to obtain work.


The disclosure of criminal records created a barrier for young ex-offenders to access jobs.  Although training provided by the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) had proved of high quality, the concern remained with the scale in which ex-offenders were engaged in formal education.  The nature of certificates also worked against them. 


Proposals made:


*     Future measures should be implemented to prevent the youth from ending up in prisons.


*     Efforts must be made to economically integrate ex-offenders.  This could be facilitated by preparing potential employers and exposing them to prisoners prior to their release.


*     Structured relapse programmes could assist released prisoners to adhere to a structured programme and reinforce skills and qualities acquired during earlier intervention programmes.


*     The DCS should focus its attention on programmes that proved to be effective in preparing prisoners for life after their release.  It should also ensure that ex-prisoners receive training and support services that would increase their chances of economic integration. 



Free Market Foundation (FMF)


The FMF submitted a proposal for a two-year exemption certificate in respect of labour laws.  This would be applicable to people who had been unemployed for more that six months.  The proposed certificate would also entitle a person to work for any small firm on whatever basis agreed upon with the employer.  It called for a basic and simple written contract that would exist as some form of protection for workers.   


The idea of a proposed special exemption certificate was not agreed t by most stakeholders at the hearings.  Some believed that the proposal paid no heed to the imbalanced relationship between an established employer and employee.  It was also felt that the proposal would detract from the role of government to protect employees in the labour market.  The DOL felt that the proposal made by the FMF was contradictory to its view that labour laws should be left as they were.  It mentioned that the Presidential Commission was appointed to examine the plight of small business and focus on the impact of labour market legislation.  


National Youth Commission (NYC)


The input by the NYC identified some of the barriers that were contributing to youth unemployment as follows:


*           The lack of adequate skills;

*           The lack of support to engage young people in entrpreneurship programmes;

*           The lack of access to funding; and

*           The inability of linking economic growth to the demand in the labour market.


Proposals made:


*           The government should develop a comprehensive economic empowerment strategy for youth.

*           The youth should have access to funding in order to start up their own businesses.

*           Various learning institutions, including Further Education and Training  colleges and SETAs should develop training programmes that would prepare young people for the demands of the labour market.

*           The government, parastatals, non-governmental organisations and development financial institutions should develop internship programmes to address the lack of skills.




*     There seemed to be a lack of distinction on what was done by the National Youth Commission and other institutions such as  Umsobomvu Youth Fund.


*     The Employment Equity Act (EEA) did not categorise youth as a designated group.


*     The National Skills Development Strategy had no mention of the National Youth Service.


*           The preferential procurement policy framework excluded young people.


*           The increasing graduate unemployment featured more among Blacks, Indians and Coloureds despite the policy of affirmative action.




*           The DOL should look into the inclusion of youth in the EEA.


*           All government departments should have a youth directorate at a senior level.


*           The Departments of Education and of Labour should look into how career guidance programmes at high school could be implemented to encourage young matriculants to follow curriculum streams that would enable them to be employable.

*           The Departments of Arts and Culture, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism should create employment opportunities for young people.


Business Unity of South Africa (BUSA)


BUSA expressed its willingness in supporting youth SMMES to broaden the base and encourage entrepreneurship.  There was a need for SMMEs to be flexible in response to the changing market conditions and needs of young people.  Business expressed the need to change the expectation that big business would absorb all young people who were coming out of the education system, including those who were skilled and qualified.


Input by Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) and National Council of Trade Unions (NACTU)


The submission made by COSATU, FEDUSA and NACTU was located in the context of the NEDLAC Labour Declaration.  It pointed out at the criticisms have been levelled at the definitions of unemployment.  It argued that the definition excludes discouraged work-seekers who were no longer actively looking for work.                                                                                                  

The submission argued that there was a need for a holistic approach to addressing unemployment, covering a range of strategies including, amongst others, those directed at education, skills development, infrastructure development, an accessible affordable public transport system, an effectively targeted public works programme and a developmental comprehensive social security system that acts as lever to employment.


The submission noted that unemployment and underemployment are very high, workers will tend to accept sub-standard employment and find it hard to organise. In these circumstances, it becomes virtually impossible for government to protect labour rights through administrative means, such as inspectorates.


It was also noted that government, when addressing unemployment, should consider the policies and factors that drive joblessness.  These include the need for appropriate industrial and trade policies that emphasise the creation of quality jobs.


 Proposals made


*           There is a need for the government to increase momentum in the creation of decent, well-paid and secure jobs on a mass scale. This must be linked to a development strategy.

*           The government must act urgently against the speculative capital inflows that are driving up the rand and devastating export industries, at the cost of tens of thousands of jobs.

*           There must be no rise in interest rates, as this will have a negative impact on job creation and retention.

*           Casualisation of employment and outsourcing must be minimised.

*           The government must fulfil its promise of providing jobs on a massive scale, through public works programmes, to enable unemployed people to contribute to their communities and earn a living.

*           Young people and workers must have equal access to education and skills.

*           There is a need to stop the European Union and the United States of America from pushing through tariff reductions and privatisation of services through negotiations at the World Trade Organisation.

*           Employers must eliminate discrimination based on race and gender in the workplace, as well as discrimination against people infected and affected by HIV.

*           Initiatives pertaining to electricity restructuring, especially the establishment of Regional Electricity Distributors (REDs), have had negative implications for delivery of services and job losses. There should be an end to the process of establishing REDs and IPPs in its current form.


*           There is a need for supplementary social security for those falling through this net, which should be combined with strategic skilling or re-skilling programmes to lever workers back into employment. This should provide a minimum safety net guaranteeing each household and person a minimum income.


*           There is a need to identify the skills required for key sectors to maintain and expand production. That means identifying both existing bottlenecks and the training outputs required to maintain the sector by replacing existing skills in the coming years. In this context, concern is raised in relation to the downsizing of key training programmes, notably apprenticeships and education for the main public services and key manufacturing sectors. 


*           There is a need to develop programmes that will generate an increase in well-trained artisans with high-level skills, such as machine tool operators, electricians, plumbers and welders. JIPSA should develop realistic targets and define the role of the public sector, and especially SOEs, to achieve these aims. SETA’s and FET colleges should identify what apprenticeship programmes would be needed to avoid any surplus skills in a particular field.


*           There is a need to increase the number of graduates and to ensure greater representivity among professional graduates as black people, especially black women, are not adequately represented in these fields. One suggestion is that JIPSA could develop a programme with clear key performance indicators in terms of both representivity and overall numbers. Implementation would then require close work with both employers and universities. It would require, in particular, a massive increase both in bridging programmes for historically disadvantaged individuals.


*     SETAs should develop specific targets for learnerships based on the required critical, core and scarce skills. Accepting Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) remains a significant obstacle. In meeting skills shortages, urgent attention should be given to recognising years of experience, as a form of vocational training that may not be formally recognised. Bridging programmes could be developed to ensure that this is realised. JIPSA is an important initiative and should be located within the context of defining a macro-economic path that would promote skills improvement and meeting skill shortages. It should also be located within a clear industrial strategy that would grow sectors identified under the ASGISA initiative



Tuks Afrikaanse Studente (TAS)


The submission by TAS proposed for the exemption from affirmative action of young white South Africans who were born after 2 February 1990. It also called for the broadening of the definition of designated group in the EEA to include youth, irrespective of race.  It further proposed that all new ventures created by young people needed to be treated equally to so-called black companies, when they compete for government procurement.   


The Committee believed that a further debate was needed around the proposals made with respect to the exemption of young white South Africans  who were born after 2 February 1990.


Input by Services SETA


The input made by the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Services SETA highlighted some of the major constraints that were contributing to youth not accessing full employment.  He noted the poor quality of matric, FET colleges and university training.  Among the impediments was  the “disproportionate sense of entitlement” among youth.  However, the generalization around that issue sparked debate by the Committee and other stakeholders.  The CEO mentioned the general lack of respect of elders or mentors, policies and programmes.  He noted the lack of respect of existing structures such as training institutions, SETAs. 


Proposals made:


*  The SETAs should be required to work with FET colleges to ensure that vocational training programmes are accredited by Education and Training Quality Assurance (ETQA).


*  There should be an after-learnership or National Qualifications Framework (NQF) certificate employer incentive that will enable them to keep young people in the working environment for at least a period of two years.  This would give learners more opportunity to convince the employer that they should be offered permanent employment.


Input by Insurance SETA      


The Insurance SETA reiterated the problem of numeracy and literacy levels.  Reference was made to a survey that was conducted in the insurance sector which found that 52% of matriculants did not take maths.  Out of the 48% that did mathematics, 21 % failed.  Only 5% had mathematics on the higher grade. 


The SETA proposed that there was a need to ensure the infusion of work readiness training and proper career advice within the schooling system.


Input by Wholesale and Retail (W&R) SETA


The W&RSETA intimated that one of the main problems that were facing SETAs was the exit strategy from learnerships.  The W&R SETA had, however, come up with a principle wherein it would only fund learneships that guaranteed full employment to at least 90% of learners that completed learnership programmes.  This was well received by corporate stakeholders.   


The SETA had looked at the issue of venture creation and had rolled out projects that were targeting rural youth, especially those that would give business opportunities to learners.


The DOL acknowledged that exit strategies were a challenge.  It agreed that it would be useful to to have locally developed strategies. 


Input by the BANK SETA


The BANKSETA intimated that one of the challenges facing young matriculants who did not possess entrance requirements and graduates that lacked the relevant experience.


Input by Children’s Rights Project (CRP)


The input by CRP drew was based on the use of children by adults or older children (CUBAC) to commit illicit activities as one of the worst forms of child labour in South Africa. The CRP noted that it is critical that investigations focus on finding adults and older children who use children for illegal activities, particularly in the production and trafficking of drugs and other related illegal



The CRP made a number of recommendations pertaining to the ways in which children who commit crimes should be dealt with. Of importance is the fact that it felt that it is important that child offenders should be diverted away from prison. It further noted that formal education or vocational training should be offered to all children whose sentences involve deprivation of liberty, including those held while awaiting trail.


The CRP also noted children should be allowed to work while incarcerated.  It noted that work is preferable to children being bored and feeling useless. However, policy should be formulated on when children deprived of their liberty may be required to work, and when such work should be remunerated.


The Department of Labour (DoL) has a technical assistance project called “Towards the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour” (TECL), which has been adopted by a wide range of South African government departments including those responsible for justice, social development, labour, education, safety and security and local government, as well as by other agencies. TECL contracted the Community Law Centre to undertake research on the nature, extent and causes of the use of children by adults and other children for illegal activities.


Proposals made


*     The Portfolio Committee on Labour needs to liase with the Portfolio Committees on Education and Justice and Constitutional Development on the implementation of policies in order to ensure that the relevant Departments are planning, budgeting and implementing programmes and policies that deal with the issues raised in its submission.


*     Parliament needs to exercise its oversight role to call the various Departments to account on implementation of policies as well as inter-sectoral co-operation and planning on the issue of youth and unemployment and in ensuring employment as a means of crime prevention and eliminating the use of children by adults to commit crime. 


*     Related government departments should approach the International Labour Organisation for technical assistance in dealing with eliminating child labour through the aforementioned TECL project.


                        Input by Black Sash


The Black Sash located its submission within the context of the fact that South Africa has made an international commitment to meeting the millennium development goals (MDGs). Goal 1 of the MDGs entails a commitment to halving extreme poverty and hunger by 2014. The creation of sustainable, good quality employment is critical to addressing poverty. 


The Black Sash noted that more than 50% of the unemployed people in South Africa are between the ages of 18 and 35. Since 1994, close to a million matriculants have not entered the job market simply because jobs have not been available. Many young people, in particular young women, are in insecure employment as casual workers. Millions of matriculants are without skills and without access to skills training. This is unacceptable when the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) continue to under-spend and fail to meet learnership targets.


The Black Sash attributes high rates of unemployment to the failure of government policy and the protection of private sector interests to accumulate profits. It notes that although government has introduced the National Skills Development Strategy which has resulted in more than 3 million workers successfully receiving training in various skills and over 80 000 learners (mostly under the age of 35) obtaining learnerships in various sectors over the course of the past 5 years, it has barely scratched the surface of a deeper growing problem.


The Black Sash argued that learnerships do not help the youth in the longer term as they merely create a temporary platform for the youth to keep them busy. It maintains that there is no existing strategy for young people in terms of getting jobs once they have completed their learnerships. It pointed out that many companies use learnerships merely to comply with the law without securing career paths for learners who have completed their training programme. 


The Black Sash argued that the consequences of unemployment include the fact that millions of young people, in particular young women, live in conditions of poverty, misery, hopelessness, disease, violence, child abuse, crime, early pregnancy, forced sex work and other social ills in a country which has ample economic resources.


                        Proposals made


*           The Youth Commission, Umsobomvu Youth Fund and National Youth Development Policy Framework need to be reconstructed with a view to developing a fresh mandate to specifically address the problem of youth unemployment.


                        *           Government should establish a National Youth Service Programme  that       will engage young people in a process of providing services to the communities in which they live, while increasing their own skills, education and opportunities to generate an income.


            *           A minimum income will allow individuals to access places of employment, respond to jobs adverts, start up small business etc


*           Youth Service Programmes must include a post-service component that actively supports young people to access economic opportunities.


*           Young people participating in Youth Service Programmes must be provided with education and training. A stipend may be paid to participants in order to facilitate their involvement in a programme.


*           Young people must be equipped to start their own business and to provide employment both for themselves and for others



Input by South African Graduate  Development Association (SAGDA)


The submission by SAGDA explained the nature, scope and challenges of youth specifically from a graduate perspective.  The submission outlined SAGDA’s perceived gaps in legislation and job creation for youth with reference to the Accelerated Shared Growth Initiative of South Africa (ASGI-SA) policy.  It also looked at social and entrepreneurship development as job creation strategies.


SAGDA was commissioned by the Department of Science and Technology to develop a database management system that would provide information about registered unemployed science and technology graduates.  This system would be able to track people in terms of qualifications, places of origin or provinces, etc.  It would also be linked to certain companies so that they could access the system.  SAGDA would in future like to extend system to include fields other than science- oriented ones.


The Committee wanted clarity on the demographics of the organisation, the level of career advice students were given to identify gaps in the job market and specific areas of study that had the highest number of unemployed graduates.  The Committee was concerned about students who did not complete their studies due to the lack of funds, especially in the science-related fields.  The Committee expressed a need for SAGDA to meet with organisations such as TAS to see how they could bridge the wide gap between them.




*           There was little formal relationship between SAGDA and institutions such as the UYF.

*           The two databases that covered unemployed youth differed in that SAGDA’s was specific to graduates, while the youth portal had a broader mandate that covered all young people.

*           SAGDA had not been able to use the excel spreadsheet for maintaining its database.  This did not allow for easy access to locate graduates with particular skills.  

*           The fragmentation of programmes created problems for young people.

*           Debts accrued from student loans were a hindrance to young qualified graduates accessing jobs.

*           The notion of job entitlement hindered young people from taking advantage of other routes of employment.

*           Limited resources were a barrier in enabling SAGDA to engage with institutions such as GET, FET institutions.

*           The lack of infrastructure had posed difficulties for SAGDA to cater for all requests received in relation to providing statistics on unemployed graduates.

*           There were few learnerships that were targeted at graduates except for project management and other related management fields.

*           Young Black graduates were experiencing problems in accessing jobs, especially in the engineering and information technology sectors.


Proposals made:


*           Unemployed graduates could be used by government to address backlogs in the public services, for examples, in applications in the Departments of Social Development and Home Affairs.

*           There was a need to a review of courses provided by institutions of learning to check whether they were still relevant to the needs of the economy.

*           Points such as multi-purpose community centres and advisory youth centres should be used to assist in gathering of information.

*           Graduates can be used to improve matric results by providing tuitin sessions.


                        Proposals by the Committee


*           The Committee should look into the issue of labour brokers and their impact on vulnerable young people.

*           There was a need to look into the possibility of a lower exit age for workers to allow space for youth, yet recognising the skills of experienced workers for training young people.

*           There was a need to look at how SAGDA could be linked to BUSA.



D.         Inputs received from KwaZulu-Natal and the Eastern Cape




*           There was a growing number of young people that were migrating to cities with the hope of finding jobs.

*           The lack of infrastructure and resources hinder young people, especially in rural areas from accessing information.

*           There was less progress made by government departments with respect to programmess that could assist young people in accessing jobs.

*           The private sector had not demonstrated sufficient effort in addressing the issue of youth unemployment.




Proposal made


*           Youth programmes should be channeled to local and district municipalities.  There should be a link between local and district municipalities’ IDPs and Provincial Economic Development Programmes (PEDPs).

*           All youth programmes should not be urban biased.

*           Government should create programmes that would enable the youth to access business opportunities.

*           There must be proper monitoring of all government-funded structures that were meant to assist in youth development.

*           Government should look into the possibility of establishing call centres that would specifically deal with youth development matters.

*           The UYF and SETAs should be more visible in rural areas.

*           Government should provide special vehicles that would provide reliable information on how youth could access the labour market.


Eastern Cape


*           The province, apart from its high rural proportion, had a high rate of youth unemployment.

*           Out of 30 011 young people that were registered as job seekers during 2004-05, only 1 134 were placed.

*           There was a lack of co-operation between the NYC, SAYC, UYF, municipalities and governments with respect to youth programmes.

*           There was a lack of awareness by municipalities about skilled young incumbents that were produced by technikons and FET colleges.

*           There was still a lack of clarity about the meaning of “scarce skills”.

*           The demand of relevant experience in order to access the labour market posed a major challenge to young people.

*           The growing economy did not create employment opportunities, especially for youth.

*           Globalisation and technological changes necessitated continuous skills development programmes to meet the new skills required by the economy.

*           Courses such as property evaluation were only offered by the University of South Africa (UNISA).

*           Access to higher education was expensive and unaffordable.

*           Employers, SMMEs, including government departments and municipalities, were not well oriented with learnership programmes.

*           There was a lack of co-ordination of SETAs in the province.

*           There were problems in FET colleges registering as service providers.


The Committee was concerned that young people were not being capacitated to become service providers.   It suggested that the DOL should have a dedicated programme that would look at capacitating young people to become service providers.  The Committee recommended that the decentralisation of SETAs needed to be sped up.  The DOL should formalise the issue of volunteerism.


Proposals made


*           The Departments of Labour and Education should look into the issue of qualifications and skills that did not correspond with the needs of the economy.

*           The curriculum of tertiary institutions should be scrutinised to check its relevance to the economy.

*           The DOL should evaluate the NSDS on a regular basis and identify its strengths and weaknesses.

*           A learnership in property evaluation should be designed in order to reduce the long duration for the acquisition of a diploma. 

*           The intensification of skills development efforts must be underpinned by private-public partnerships (PPPs).

*           Youth should be exposed to mentoring and encouraged to volunteer work experience. Assistance should be given to volunteers on how to market themselves for employment opportunities.

*           The UYF should play a meaningful role in equipping youth in accessing some job requirements such as driver’s licences, entrepreneurship skills, as well as access to funding.

*           There must be a meaning collaboration between business, educational institutions, the DOL and funding institutions to create co-operatives and joint ventures that would assist in creating jobs for young people.

*           There was a need to attract big business to the Eastern Cape in order to open job opportunities for young people.

*           There was a need to lobby the private sector to ensure that their social investment programmes were directed towards assisting young people in educating young people.

*           The DOL should monitor SMMEs and orientate them on learnerships.


Input from the higher education perspective


*           Traditional higher education was too disconnected from the world of work.

*           Learners did not acquire the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to prepare them for the world of work.

*           Higher education had become too one dimensional.  Students have lost their ability to contribute to it because many university programmes were redesigned to become more skills oriented.

*           There was a growing belief that graduates did not bring a particular level of skill.  They often had to be trained on the job. 

*           The challenge was not to choose between theory and practice, but rather to think the way in which theory and practice could be linked in the student learning experience.

*           Research had proven that employers were indeed becoming more wary of the product of both the school and higher education systems.  With respect to higher education, research had shown that employers were of the opinion that graduates lacked problem-solving skills, flexibility and or adaptability, putting theory into practice and extracting theory out of practice, and lacked creative thinking ability.   


Proposals  made:


*           The DOL should work with local research agencies to promote a culture of using local knowledge and information to analyse market and social needs.

*           The DOL should work with the Department of Social Development to promote the socio-economic profiling of local communities.  This would enable local government and development agencies to identify local needs and challenges.  This should also inform service provision, development planning and skills development in local communities.

*           The DOL should work with the Department of Education on local and district levels to encourage schools to give learners more exposure to the world of work through their school career.

*           The DOL should encourage schools and pos-school institutions to make more time for life-skills development that were linked to personal and career development of individual learners.   


Input by DOL



General Recommendations by the Committee: