UNEMPLOYED youth and budding entrepreneurs should start where they are at, with what they have and assess where they need to get to, the Capacitating our Youth to Participate Meaningfully in the Economy webinar heard yesterday.
The founder and managing director of AfriMaisha, Maria Isa, said there was consensus among the webinar panel that the youth, who were not participating in the economy, tended to be frustrated with what they lacked.
“If they do not have what it takes, they should equip themselves with whatever it takes. They should learn what they have to learn and do research of the art, school, who they will do it for and research from all fronts,” said Isa.
Panelists included co-founder of HireMe Jacques Barnard, National Development Agency chief executive Thamo Mzobe, Organispace senior architectural technologist Taku Rushwaya and board member of Youth in Property Association Sipho Mbadaliga.
The webinar also heard that small and medium enterprises should not be scared of doing research and see how they could share their knowledge and skills to create businesses with it. Aspirant entrepreneurs were also encouraged to network and connect with the right people and institutions by creating conversations and relationships.
In the webinar, the panel discussed whether there were jobs in the South African economy. The panel conceded that the markets were concentrated, exacerbated by the global pandemic, which had made jobs limited, thereby, making it necessary that the youth who were not participating in the economy try to create their own economy.
Another challenge that the uneconomically active youth faced was related to the skills mismatch.
Mzobe said South Africa needed to relook at what it said about education. Organic education skills and knowledge could be used to create employment.
Mzobe said they had worked with women who were illiterate, but knew so much about farming. What was necessary was checking what could be done to support them to help to employ them and others.
Last month, the Department of Employment and Labour said the youth remained the most vulnerable in the South African labour market with 32.4 percent of the 10.2 million youth (15 to 24 years) reported not to be in employment, education or training (Neet) in quarter one of 2021.
It constituted 29.6 percent of Neet in December 2020. Nevertheless, the Neet rate for females was higher than that of their male counterparts in both quarters.