The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) supports the implementation of the Youth Employment Accord as a viable and sustainable call to action for job creation efforts aimed at young South Africans. The broad-based consensus reached at NEDLAC and signed on the 18th April 2013 by government, business, labour and community organisations represents the best and most effective way of creating jobs for youth. Youth unemployment remains a ticking time bomb and a collective effort is needed to create more jobs for youth.
The Youth Employment Accord spearheaded by the Department of Economic Development and composed through regular consultations with all stakeholders represents a detour from the ‘silver bullet’ approach to youth employment creation.
“The implementation of the Accord will create more jobs for youth by linking efforts at job creation to skills development. The NYDA thus calls for accelerating the implementation of the Youth Employment Accord by all stakeholders,” said NYDA Executive Chairperson Yershen Pillay.
The Accord calls on all Government departments to implement focused internships with a target of 5% of staff complements. It is estimated that by meeting the 5% internship target almost 92 000 work opportunities will be created for young people below the ages of 35 who are willing and able. Although significant progress has been made with almost 20 000 internships filled by youth thus far, much more needs to be done.
According to Pillay, “creating 5 million jobs by 2020 can only become a reality if all sectors of society work tirelessly to mainstream and integrate youth development into society. One of the six commitments of the Accord speaks to more work exposure for young people.” The NYDA further calls on big business to match government’s commitment by creating more work opportunities for youth. Big business has the potential to match governments’ commitment of youth internships by ensuring that 5% of total staff compliments are internships allocated for youth.
Whilst the NYDA notes that some government departments have met their 5% targets many have not done so thus far. The NYDA plans to meet those government departments who have not met their 5% targets and ensure that we assist them in creating more work exposure for young people. The NYDA will furthermore meet Big business with the capacity to facilitate work exposure for youth and encourage them to implement the six commitments of the Youth Employment Accord as we intensify our efforts to halve youth unemployment by 2030.