I want to start this piece by acknowledging that this is an opinion piece, and this is my opinion.
I have been thinking over the course of the last few days about unemployment, this lead me to the employability of the young people of South Africa today. Now I’m not saying that all of the young people graduating from school (or leaving it early) are the same, but there seems to be a lack of willingness to work these days among my fellow young South Africans. Not only that but a genuine lack of knowledge about things that should be general knowledge. The youth don’t care about the news; they don’t care what’s happening in South Africa, or beyond our borders. The youth are shockingly naïve about how the world works, about business, about politics, about what one has to do to make a living.
Now I’m not saying bring back mandatory service in the armed forces or anything. But a lot of people would agree with me in saying that the generation that did come out the armed forces were more disciplined.
I would rather suggest a mandatory 1 year course after school. A working course, work-in-progress course if you will, where necessary things are taught to these young people leaving school. Not more academics or work, no, more about how things work. This should include some community service; building new schools, cleaning up our country while readying our youth to enter the “real world” at the same time. We have to instill a will in our young South Africans to want to learn, to want to help, to want to work to building a beautiful and efficient South Africa.
I understand that this is an incredibly impractical idea and that it is idealistic and that it will not happen. But just think of the change a committed approach to a program like this could make in a few years time. Lower crime-rates, a more able and willing workforce, a better South Africa.