Youth Employment Index

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"Statistics SA figures for the third quarter of 2012 show 71% of the unemployed are aged 25-34 and the unemployment rate among youth is 36%. About 3,3m youth aged 15-34 are not employed or studying." - FM 

I'm one of those people who sometimes stay up late at night worrying about the state of our economy and how we can start to create jobs, skill our workforce and attract investors. It's part of my professional and personal life -- my younger brother has been self-employed for the last four years because there he wasn't getting ahead in mainstream employment.

A few weeks ago a new organisation called the Youth Employment Index (YEI) was launched. This organsation aims to not only track the number of companies who create sustainable employment for the youth but to also create a dialogue between corporates and South African youth. A dialogue that'll help corporates harness the powers and special talents of Generation Y while creating employment opportunities for new graduates.

What is required

I like this organsation because it endorses what I believe most corporates should already  be doing and that is: providing bursaries, internships, mentorship prgrammes and corporate social investment. All these areas contribute toward up-skilling youth and giving them the tools to be work-ready.

What can we do?

If your company already provides busaries to deserving students or internship opportunities to recent graduates can we then move it forward a bit to a place where these young people are paid for their time?  Even something as seemingly small as a "travel stipend" goes a long way.

After about 18 months of having his business my brother needed help, that along with his daughter's mother whom he was already paying for freelance work. He took on a design graduate who had spent three months at an unpaid internship and they're still working together to this day. This is why I encourage young people to start their own small businesses because when they succeed they create employment. Corporates need to provide young people with information on how to start their businesses or enter and industry.

What is your organisation doing to contribute toward the employment of young South Africans?

The Youth Employment Index is also on Facebook.

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