Youth Capital launched its latest research report ‘Beyond the cost: what does it really cost young people to look for work?‘ on the cost of looking for work for young job-seekers. Insights from the report were unpacked in a live conversation with Senwelwe Mthembu (Researcher at the Centre for Social Development in Africa, University of Johannesburg), Kristal Duncan-Williams (Project Lead at Youth Capital), and researcher and financial journalist Duma Gqubule, facilitated by Hlumela Dyantyi (Campaign Manager at DG Murray Trust). You can watch the recording here.
In this blog post, we answer the questions from the online launch. For any other questions, get in touch with the Youth Capital team. Also, scroll down to the end of the post for a ‘Beyond the cost’ reading list.
Where can we download a copy of the Report?
Click below 🙂
Who conducted the research?
Youth Capital partnered with research hub Open Dialogue to carry out research to understand the impact of lockdown on young people’s ability to look for work. JobJack, Hire Me and Youth Employment Service (YES) supported Youth Capital in sharing their survey across their networks of young people. ‘Beyond the Cost’ builds on the evidence of the Siyakha Youth Assets for Employability Study by the Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA) at the University of Johannesburg.
Could you please explain the difference in figures?
The Youth Capital report states that ‘currently over 9.2 million young people (15-34 years old) in South Africa are not in employment, education, or training (NEET)’, whilst Duma’s article states that ‘during the last quarter of 2021 there were 10.2-million youths (aged 15 to 24) in SA, of whom only 3.4-million were in the labour force and 3.4-million (32.8%) were in neither employment nor education or training‘.
In his article, Duma refers to the 15-24 age group, while the Youth Capital report refers to the 15-34-year-olds group. In the former, many are still in some form of education, so the 25-34 age group consists of a bigger NEET group.
A comment not a question: Older persons’ grant (like the child grant) is also often used to support entire families and not used to meet the needs of older persons.
Yes absolutely- in the Youth Capital survey, many young people indicated that they could no longer get money from their parents or grandparents for job-seeking purposes because they needed that money for food- we can then see how much young people rely on these other grants in the household for job-seeking.
For government jobs, Z83 is standing in our way☹️
Yes, we think that a cumbersome process for certifying documents is a barrier for young job-seekers. As Youth Capital, we would advocate for these processes to only be a requirement for short-listed candidates, and not a requirement for all applicants right at the beginning of the recruitment process.
Please explain about local libraries. What about rural libraries, do they have internet access?
In her answer, Kristal highlighted that support for young people needs to go beyond online support; face-to-face support is essential. In this context, there is a need for youth-friendly hubs and physical directories that can bridge the knowledge gap. Local libraries in this context play a key role in reaching young people, where they are at and providing support. There are no single and simple answers to reducing job-seeking costs for young people, we need to understand their challenges and provide multiple ways of supporting them in their job-seeking journey.
What was the age group of the survey respondents?
We didn’t ask for demographic information to decrease the dropoff rate of the survey, but the average age of people in the Youth Capital network is 25.
The Basic Package of Support is key to a wholesome way of supporting youth and ties very well with the Action Plan.
We couldn’t agree more. You can read more about the Basic Package of Support here.
There’s a need to support small enterprises. I run an internet café in Alex and assist many young people to apply, but with limited resources it’s hard.
Absolutely – Youth Capital will focus on the challenges around unlocking public opportunities. You can read more about these in Youth Capital’s 2020 annual publication.
Encouraging the conversion of young or individual entrepreneurs is key – but then again, funding!!!
Yes, capital is key for the growth of small businesses.
How do we address unemployment and youth unemployment in particular? We need to generate a discussion around how to mobilize the structures in government to work with communities – a good example is the Israeli Kibbutz system that addresses the delivery of various skills. Get the army to manage the process so that funds are properly accounted for and that operational aspects are properly managed.
The government is attempting to create such programmes through things like the National Youth Service, under the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative. I think the bigger question, as we’ve seen with things like the Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI), is that the skills given and the support provided to access a next opportunity are key to making these interventions powerful. If we are going to be spending large amounts of public money on these short-term programmes, then we have to think about how they impact the young person long term and ensure that they provide transferable skills, social capital and information on where and how to access a next opportunity.
Is it possible to get a link to the research Duma is talking about to show the need to increase jobs in public service?
Duma is working for the social policy institute and they will be concluding all the research by the end of May.
Your response and the focus and ideals of Youth Capital are commendable. I am happy to have caught your discussion on eNCA (link here). My primary concern in the topic(s) and research that your organisation is involved in is rooted on some work that i have done with the African Union Commission (AUC) relative to one of the AGENDA 2063 focus areas; i.e., youth unemployment continentally. I will be following the work of your organisation more closely.
(The Youth Capital team is sure you will enjoy these readings!)
Duma wrote a great article on Business Live about the South African unemployment rate – Unemployment not on agenda of Treasury and Reserve Bank
The Basic Package of Support is being piloted in a number of sites -find out more about it here.
In Unlock Jobs, Youth Capital dives into job-seeking costs, the role of zero-rated platforms, as well as existing initiatives that bridge the gap between employers and young hires.