According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and National Treasury, between 80 to 100 million unemployed young people worldwide. It is estimated that in South Africa, approximately 3 million of the total unemployed people are aged between 15 and 34.
Young people are three times more likely than adults to be out of a job. Data from the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) shows overall employment decreased by 75 000 in the first quarter of 2012. Employment fell across all age groups, with job shedding most severe among those aged 25 to 34 years old (31 000, q/q), 35 to 45 years (22 000 q/q), and 55 to 64 years (21 000 q/q).Employment for all age groups (except those aged 35 to 44) remains below pre-crisis level, although young people aged 15 – 24 years continue to be worst affected (360 000 or 20% below 2008 levels). Skills Shortage In January 2011, Higher Education Minister, Blade Nzimande launched South Africa’s third National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS III) in an effort to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of South Africa’s skills development system. Amongst other planned activities, the NSDS III will focus on technical and scarce skills; address the low levels of youth and adult language and numeric skills which will enable additional training. According to the minister, ‘South Africa faces a shortage of intermediate and artisan skills’. A deliverable has been set at ensuring that 10 000 artisans per year qualify with relevant skills and subsequently find employment. One of the NYDA’s mandates is to ensure skills development and promote access to economic participation. The skills deficit in the country and interventions hithertoare mapped out in the National Skills Development Strategy (NSDS). · National Skills Development Strategy I – 2001 to 2005. · National Skills Development Strategy II – 2005 to 2010 was launched by the Minister of Labour at the National Skills Conference in March 2005. The adjusted Strategy replaced the first National Skills Development Strategy 2001 – 2005. · In 2009 the Department of Higher Education took on the responsibility of enhancing skills development. · National Skills Development Strategy III – 2010 to 2015 – “In NSDS 3 the emphasis swings in the direction of institutional learning linked to occupationally directed programmes. It promotes the growth of FET Colleges in order to address national skills needs. Better use of workplace skills programmes is encouraged as is the use of worker- initiated training initiatives. Public sector improved service delivery is seen as an imperative.”
FET Colleges as a response to skills shortage and youth unemployment
According to the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), they were meant to provide intermediate-level and artisan skills to mitigate the shortage of skilled people to fill positions available in the technical and associated professional occupations which would in the end address the issue of unemployment in South Africa. The Further Education and Training (FET) sector with its 50 colleges and 263 campuses nationally are seen as the primary site for skills development training. The colleges also provide second chance education opportunities for those who do not qualify for university entrance. The Human Sciences Research Council in, Evaluation of the National Skills Development Strategy, 2005 — 2010), a study commissioned by DHET, found that: · Of the 50 FET colleges in SA – there were shortcomings in governance across the three levels being college, provincial and national · At a college level – governance skills varied across college councilors · At a provincial level – not all the colleges strategic plans comply evenly with the requirements stipulated in the FET Colleges Act of 2006 · At a national level – an introduction of policy interventions and the speed at which they were introduced replacing some that were in existence have also contributed to the instability of the college sector as a whole
Skills Review: The Human Sciences Research Council & UCT’s Development Policy Research Unit assessed and evaluated progress in skills development since its implementation. An HSRC Review – Strategies to skill the nation: Review of government’s skills development strategy – points to skills shortage as constraining South Africa’s development and that 18-years into democracy, unemployment, low levels of job creation persist and this is amplified in disadvantaged groups namely black people, women and people living with disabilities in skilled and highly skilled occupations
The study found that In 2009/2010 national government departments were spending on training totaled R1.8 billion and more than 205 000 people attended some of the skills development programme. Most national departments were spending more than the required 1% but there was variation across the departments in terms of programme per capita costs, across provinces there were differences between budgets and actual expenditure, a considerable amount is spent on bursaries with the hope that this will redress long-term challenge of scarce skills.
– By SABC News Research