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Africa|Projects|Testing|Bearing
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Dept to assess research findings on job creation, retention

29th February 2024

By: Sabrina Jardim

Creamer Media Online Writer

     

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The Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) will study the findings of two independent research reports on youth unemployment and consider how the research proposals can help it create and retain jobs.

The findings of the two reports, which were commissioned by the DEL, were presented by Nelson Mandela University and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) at this year’s Labour Market Research Seminar, held on February 28.

The reports highlight that youth unemployment in South Africa has worsened despite a greater emphasis being placed on policy, legislation, programme implementation and resource allocation, noting that there are various factors contributing to the failure of government interventions in creating employment.

These include policy incongruence in areas such as targeting and means testing, significant lack of integration and coordination across programmes, as well as insufficient monitoring and evaluation of some policies and programmes – mainly output reporting and lack of coordination and experience sharing within government.

“One of the major challenges in the South African economy is the introduction of new policies before full implementation of existing ones,” HSRC representatives Shirin Motala and Dr Bongiwe Mncwango told delegates attending the seminar.

Additionally, Dr Florah Modiba from Nelson Mandela University highlighted some challenges faced by employment schemes.

These include difficulty in coordinating different projects owing to implementation being done by different public bodies, difficulty in ensuring fair recruitment, and poor record keeping by public bodies which makes it difficult to measure outputs.

Under the theme ‘Interventions in facilitating youth employment’, the seminar aimed to engage stakeholders in looking at government interventions in youth employment.

“We meet at a time when our country’s economy is taking heavy punches from different angles, we have endured slow, if not stagnant economic growth lately, we have endured high unemployment and underemployment, and we have endured several other challenges.

“Indeed, all these socioeconomic challenges bring realism to many, as such we need to devise urgent measures that will cushion the most vulnerable against the effects of economic meltdown,” said acting director-general Onke Mjo during her keynote address.

The studies recommend the centralisation of reporting on all employment schemes, the reorganisation of the schemes guided by the ecosystem approach and the ongoing monitoring and evaluation process.

The studies also recommend implementing schemes to make youth digital-savvy for own employment creation, that all tertiary qualifications include a full year of work experience, and for the DEL to track active steps in data collection, collation and curation for use in decision-making, monitoring and evaluation.

“Working together is seen bearing fruit in the interventions that we made to create jobs through many public-private partnerships such as the Temporary Employer/Employee Relief Scheme during the pandemic,” commented Mjo.

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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