Government wants 50% of employees to be aged 18 to 35

2015-01-14 15:16

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South Africa needs more entrepreneurs and fewer tenderpreneurs, says Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela.

Manamela, unveiling the start of a consultative process for a national youth policy today, said: “We need young people with ideas.”

The government wants 50% of employees across all industries to be aged between 18 and 35.

Manamela, whose portfolio deals with youth, today, addressed journalists at the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research in Pretoria.

“Of the 1 million young people who exit the schooling system annually, 65% exit without achieving a grade 12 certificate,” Manamela said.

“Less than 4.3% of people aged 18 to 29 are enrolled at a higher education institution in the country. About 60% of unemployed youth aged below 35 years have never worked. Without targeted intervention, they will remain in the fringes of society.”

There are more than 21 million people in South Africa aged between 18 and 35.

Manamela called on all industries to get involved in the discussion document and comment on government’s target of 50% youth employment in all industries.

He told journalists gathered at the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research that South Africa must have a similar policy of youth representation in the workplace to that targeted at gender representation in certain sectors.

The draft youth policy focuses on four key areas: economic participation, skills development, behavioural change and social cohesion and nation building.

It has drawn heavily from the department of social development’s drug master plan, which is designed to establish drug treatment centres across the country and more strictly enforce municipality bylaws restricting young people’s access to alcohol.

“What we expect from the consultative process is that young people from every corner of South Africa must own this youth policy formulation process and the outcome,” Manamela said.

“All must speak. The policy should mainly contain their needs, interests and aspirations as young people.”

National Youth Policy 2014- 2019

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