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South Africa: Government, Parties Sign Youth Employment Accord
Source: www.sanews.gov.za
Source Date: Monday, April 22, 2013
Focus: Institution and HR Management
Country: South Africa
Created: Apr 22, 2013

The accord makes several commitments to improve education and skilling of young people; helping them to find jobs and start their businesses. In it, government also commits to increase the number of people employed in the public sector, while certain industries are to set youth development targets.
“This accord requires a range of measures and one of those measures is how to bring young people on board. It is a framework for all parties. We are trying to unlock in the economy a greater sensitivity to youth employment,” Patel said.
In the green economy sector, government wants the involvement of people to be broadened and allow youth-owned enterprises to manufacture, install and maintain all solar water geysers in the country. At least 60% of youth should be targeted for new projects in the infrastructure programme.
Signatories to the accord included several Cabinet ministers, the South African Youth Council, the National Youth Development Agency, student bodies, political parties, business, NGOs as well as labour organisations.
Officials concede youth unemployment is a huge national problem and needs a coordinated approach.
Earlier, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe told people gathered outside the Hector Petersen Museum in Soweto, that only cooperation between the youth themselves, government and social partners can help address the unemployment challenge.
“On the one hand, all of these stakeholders have key roles to play in growing employment opportunities. On the other, long run economic development and growth … can only be sustained if more people and especially more young people see the benefits.”
Motlanthe said the approach to youth employment was based on the recognition by social partners that more jobs needed to be created to ensure greater economic growth.
“I want to stress the urgency with which we need to carry out this task. We have agreed that a comprehensive strategy is needed to achieve this. Such as strategy will require that the structural challenges in the economy are addressed, including poor skills…”
The youth employment accord is the fifth in a series of other accords first introduced by Patel in 2010 as part of the country’s economic plan, the New Growth Path. Others included the local government accord, green economy accord, national skills accord and basic education and partnership with schools. Government envisages the creation of five million new jobs by 2020 through the New Growth Path.
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