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37.5% 1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012 2014 2016 Sources: World Bank, In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­gan­i­sa­tion The un­em­ploy­ment rate of 53% among South Africans be­tween the ages of 15 and 24 shows that young peo­ple are the worst hit by poor eco­nomic growth, ac­cord­ing to a re­port from the Or­gan­i­sa­tion for Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion and De­vel­op­ment (OECD).

The OECD re­leased its lat­est re­port on South Africa this week.

Ac­cord­ing to sta­tis­tics from the In­ter­na­tional Labour Or­gan­i­sa­tion, youth un­em­ploy­ment around the world was at 13.55% last year, com­pared to 52.3% in South Africa. Among young men in the coun­try, the fig­ure is 48.3% and is 57.3% among young women.

South Africa’s gen­eral un­em­ploy­ment rate for the first quar­ter of the year was 27.7% – the high­est it has been in 14 years, ac­cord­ing to Stats SA.

Stats SA said that, for the group aged be­tween 15 and 34, the un­em­ploy­ment rate was 38.6%.

In its re­port on South Africa, the OECD rec­om­mends that ap­pren­tice­ship and in­tern­ship pro­grammes be de­vel­oped to ad­vance job cre­ation among young peo­ple.

In 2013, only 12% of South Africans who were study­ing af­ter ma­tric were en­rolled for vo­ca­tional train­ing.

Ad­vo­cate Kobus En­gel­brecht, the spokesper­son for the En­tre­pre­neur of the Year com­pe­ti­tion, spon­sored by San­lam and Busi­ness Part­ners, said it was be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for en­trepreneur­ship and the as­so­ci­ated skills to be­come part of young peo­ple’s ed­u­ca­tion.

He said this train­ing should be­gin at pri­mary school level and in­cor­po­rate ac­tiv­i­ties such as mar­ket days and en­tre­pre­neur days. He added that the teach­ing of eco­nom­ics and busi­ness stud­ies at high schools needed to be ex­panded.

– Riana de Lange

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