16 July 2021 - NW1526
Ngcobo, Mr SL to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour
Whether, in light of the increasing youth unemployment rate which currently stands at more than 50%, and the efforts being made to reduce vulnerabilities related to unemployment, (a) monitoring and evaluation mechanisms have been put in place to assess if the specified initiatives bring results and (b) the specified mechanisms are being revised to assess relevance, especially considering remote working; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details in each case?
It is an undisputed fact that, youth continue to face serious challenges and key among them is the problem of structural unemployment. It goes without stating that, even prior to the pandemic youth were already getting it tough, but their situation has now further been worsened and compounded. At the onset of the pandemic their education and training got disrupted, those who were looking for jobs could no longer do so, and were further locked out of the economy, whilst youth owned businesses suffered loss of income/employment which threatened young people’s livelihoods. Therefore, it is crucial that interventions to the youth unemployment is focussed on ensuring responsiveness and illustrating positive outcomes, results and long lasting impacts.
Government has reviewed and drew lessons from the National Youth Policy of 2009 to 2014. There are encouraging achievements of National Youth Policy of 2015 to 2020, equally, and once again there are lessons drawn.
Among many functions of the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, is to lead, support, coordinate, monitor and evaluate implementation of youth development across various sectors. To this end, they have already drafted National Youth Policy 2020-2030. National Youth Policy that has been drafted includes among others, quality education, skills and second chance, it also accommodates economic transformation, entrepreneurship and job creation.
This National Youth Policy was drafted with extensive consultation with the youth as well as the youth led and youth serving organisations across sectors. It has always been the firm belief of government that, young people must be consistently engaged as active role players in order to deal decisively with persistent challenges in that sector.
But it is also worth stating that in drafting the National Youth Policy 2030, consultations were done in the spirit of Intergovernmental Relations, and endeavour to build a strong social compact that would ensure that reviewing the past interventions is a collaborative effort and the end product will be from the inputs of all sectors of society. It became imperative that, in further responding to the plight of young people, one of the key aspects is to partner with them to ensure that institutional capacity to accelerate youth issues across government, business and civil society sectors is realised.
And of course, Covid-19 environment is forcing Department of Employment and Labour to be on its toes, in leading adjustment discussions in the labour market. Concepts such as working from home, is but one of the components relating to necessary and demanded discussions that ought to be concluded at some point. They added to the discussions that we’ve been having on Fourth Industrial Revolution. Technology has been progressing. It is now advancing rapidly. The advantage is this, young people are well versed with the technology, they are connected with that space, they are therefore willing participants, government is banking on this positive aspect, and one is sure that, that is a global phenomenon.
The National Youth Policy 2020-2030, improves upon and updates the previous policies by highlighting the current and new challenges that South Africa’s youth face. The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities will develop a youth responsive plan, budgeting, monitoring, evaluation and auditing framework, with high level of output, outcome and impact on each policy imperative.