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Fewer youth are hopeful of a good career in SA

15 June 2017 - 19:25 By Timeslive
An unemployed young South African pleads for money or food at a Johannesburg street corner.
An unemployed young South African pleads for money or food at a Johannesburg street corner.

A study conducted by the Gordon Institute of Business Science shows that fewer youth in 2017 are upbeat about the future and their career prospects than five years ago.

The annual Gordon Institute of Business Science (Gibs) Youth Survey released earlier this week showed that five years ago 74% of pupils felt SA was a good place to have a successful career.

But in 2017‚ just 53% of respondents said they planned to build a future in the country.

“The about-turn is a consequence of political infighting‚ ratings downgrades‚ the recent news that South Africa has slipped into recession and an unemployment rate of 27.7%. At the present moment‚ South Africans under the age of 25‚ who account for 51.5% of the population‚ are hardest hit by unemployment‚” Gibs said in a statement. The survey‚ conducted annually as part of the Gibs CareerExpo‚ polls 2‚500 Grade 11 and Grade 12 learners on a variety of subjects‚ including politics‚ race‚ career opportunities‚ the history of the country and the quality of the education system.

While the racial demographics of the respondents broadly matched those of the country as a whole‚ the survey comprised 68% female respondents. While the class of 2012 largely believed that South Africa would be a better place to work when they entered the job market in 2016 and 80% looked forward to a great life in the country‚ the learners of 2017 felt less prepared and certainly less confident.

Only 56% felt that the quality of their school education was adequately preparing them for either the world of work or for tertiary studies.

A more positive 64% had faith in the country’s tertiary education system to set them up for the future. Encouragingly‚ 64% of respondents believed they were able to influence the future of the country‚ a statistic which highlights the youth’s strong desire to make a difference. However‚ unlike 2015 when a whopping 75% of respondents felt that political engagement could be an effective tool to bring about change‚ only 53% of 2017 learners held this view. Abdullah Verachia‚ Gibs’ executive director for the Centre for Leadership and Dialogue‚ emphasised the importance of engaging with the youth about the history of the country.

“These are the future leaders of our country. It is up to us all to share our lessons and learnings‚ to take time to listen and engage. Our youth is a barometer of sentiment in South Africa. Listening to them can only strengthen the pipeline of future talent and ensure a robust future for our country.” TimesLIVE

Source: TMG Digital.