Harambee’s insight of youth unemployment in EC


South African not-for-profit organization, Harambee work-for-work, has revealed insight and relevant statistics into unemployment amongst the youth in today’s society in the Human Resources Forum.

Harambee work-for-work has the agenda for connecting unemployed young people into long-term, real jobs through clever-sourcing, matching and bridging.  An initial problematic hand given to unemployment among the youth is getting young people to stick to work.

“Getting young people to stick regards inclusive hiring, which requires hiring first time work seekers who are locked out of a formal economy,” said Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, Rob Urquhart at the HR Forum.

“88% of jobs are found via referral.  Getting the youth to stick stretches across a value chain and recruitment is just the tip of the iceberg,” he added.

It was stated in the forum that firms are hiring less than 50% of the unemployed body.  68% of firms hire from private employment and 77% do hiring from across South Africa.

“Standard Bank includes a 5-7 year growth plan when resourcing to inclusive hiring. Finding the best person, not the first person through the door shows an increase in retention,” added Urquhart.

The issues that the youth face, needs to be managed according to the challenges that the youth face socio-economically. This includes understanding personal circumstances and thus, creating awareness of how business works. In addition, the youth need not to measure on par with the rest immediately with regards to performance goals.

“Creating job awareness of job environment before any formal offerings will increase retention, as well as creating realistic and genuine career paths. Organizations such as MR Price also create partnerships which can bridge gaps,” he said.

The development procedures for youth employment retention can also include having the organization covering and assisting transport to work for the first month of employment. 

“Understanding the impact of transport and medical aid can result in greater retention. This can include the adoption of high turning roles i.e. hospitality and retail.”

According to the statistics collaborated by Harrambee work-for-work, 49.9% of the unemployed in South Africa are the youth.  According to Stats SA, the unemployed youth age range is between 15-24 and Eastern Cape has the third most unemployed youth at 480 000. 2/3 of these unemployed have no matric, but only 27% of them have a matric. Stats also show that there are more females than males seeking work and 71% of the youth in Eastern Cape have no prior work experience needed for employment.

This bars employment in the area for various reasons such as there not being jobs in the area, a lack of money for transport and no work to match the respective skills. On top of this, only 7% of the youth in the Eastern Cape passed maths and 5% science.