'We need to give youth a better deal in terms of jobs' - Ramaphosa

Security Guards march from Church Square to Tshwane House against outsourcing and job losses on July 17, 2017. (Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius)
Security Guards march from Church Square to Tshwane House against outsourcing and job losses on July 17, 2017. (Gallo Images / Alet Pretorius)

Youth employment and job creation go hand in hand, says President Cyril Ramphosa.

In a special message delivered on his behalf at the Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment conference in Cape Town on Monday, Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of focusing on young people in terms of job creation policies.

“At the recent job summit ... a far reaching framework for job creation [was agreed on]. At the centre of this is youth employment,” Ramaphosa said in his message.

“The youth are our greatest asset in striving to build a more inclusive economy. We must deliver on job creation targets and focus our collective efforts to grow jobs for youth.”

He said what is required is to provide young people with the means to succeed in the opportunities that are created for them.

Focus on Skills

In his view, this would require an emphasis on skills development and making more effective use of existing institutions. 

“Collaboration is important to ensure that we can bridge the gap between a skill and a job,” said Ramaphosa.

“We need breakthrough solutions. Our focus now needs to be on implementation, implementation, implementation.”

He regards the Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment conference as an exceptional forum, not only because of its singular focus on inclusive youth employment, but also because of its orientation towards action through practical programmes.

“It is heartening to see leaders from across sectors collaborating to drive solutions,” said Ramaphosa.

“Its work is informed by data and evidence-based research – to design new solutions and achieve results.”

Getting results

He said scalable pragmatic solutions must be implemented to give measurable results in the shortest possible time.

“It is an ambitious but achievable goal, but only possible when business, government and all social partners make it their daily responsibility,” said Ramaphosa.

“We also need to involve young people themselves in developing these solutions.”

He said he was happy that young people will take part in the conference to add their experiences and insights. 

“The youth of SA deserve a better deal and we must all work together to achieve this,” he concluded.

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