A youth-led advocacy campaign to reduce youth unemployment - Youth Capital
What does it really cost young people to look for work?
Get the facts here
Together, we can break down the barriers that lead to youth unemployment.

We’re on a mission to see a South Africa where all young people can thrive by tapping into earning opportunities.

THE SYSTEMIC CHALLENGES ARE REAL

Research shows that the majority of young South Africans struggle to complete their education; looking for work is expensive and it’s challenging to find ways to tap into earning opportunities, or build onto work experience provided by public employment programmes.

1 in 2

Grade 1’s haven’t made it to matric. Without a certification, they struggle to re-engage with the education system or find employment.

Source

24%

Young people who live in households without an employed adult, and lack connections to the world of work.

Source

8 in 10

the number of young people that have to choose between buying food and looking for work

Source

9.7 Mil

Young people who are not in employment, education or training (NEET)- and are unable to contribute to the economy.

Source

BUT WE’ve GOT A PLAN!

Youth Capital’s Action Plan brings together research, policies, and the lived experiences of young people about the challenges that underpin youth unemployment. The Plan prioritises ten systemic challenges that must be addressed to ensure young South Africans have the skills, opportunities, and support to earn money and move South Africa forward. #ShiftGears on youth unemployment.

All who start should finish. Almost every young person in South Africa starts school. But from the moment they enter a Grade 1 classroom, the odds of success are stacked against them. We must work together to provide support to help young people get certified.

The transition from education to a place of work is critical, as job-seeking becomes increasingly difficult the longer young people are unemployed. We must provide the right support and connection to help young people find and hold onto earning opportunities.

All work must be stepping stones to earning opportunities. Young people need the right support to leverage all the experience they have, to be able to grow their skills, access opportunities and be able to contribute to the economy.

The cost of looking for work in south africa

The Siyaka Study, published in 2019, had highlighted how the costs associated with looking for work kept young people away from accessing economic opportunities. The study reported that young South Africans can spend up to an average of R938 per month on data and transport. With half of the population living on less than R1335 per month, this cost is too high for young South Africans to afford; as a result, many young people give up on seeking economic opportunities altogether.

In 2023, Youth Capital partnered with South African recruitment platform JOBJACK to hear directly from young people about how long they spend looking for work, how much money they spend doing it and the choices they have to make in order to remain active job-seekers in an ever-struggling economy.

#fundourfutures campaign

Learn more

OUR LATEST WORK

READ
Beyond the cost: What does it really cost young people to look for work?

A wide and deep body of research confirms that social connections matter to unlock opportunities for young people. But how can we intentionally grow young people’s circles? In this brief, Youth Capital explores the different social ties young people need to thrive.

WATCH
Lean on each other - tackle youth unemployment

Follow the stories of South Africans, across race, class and age, to show the impact of social connections on their journey and the actions we can take to start creating the social connections young people need to earn an income.

CAMPAIGN
Fund our futures campaign: A small victory

If you have supported the petition, you were one of 24 500 people who signed the petition to extend the Presidential Employment Stimulus. Also, 84 organisations signed our Open Letter to National Treasury. Here’s the good news, the programme has been extended for another year!

 

Our Partners

PART-OF-THE-ACTION
 

That is powered by the network

PART-OF-THE-ACTION

With over 50 local and national organisations that have supported the Action Plan, the Youth Capital network is growing. You can also be part of the solution!

Endorse the action plan

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