Youth unemployment is one of the major challenges affecting South Africa. The official unemployment rate in the country currently stands at 27.7%. The highest affected groups are the youths below the 35 years of age. There are 38.6% of the youths who are struggling to secure employment in the country. Getting an innovative and creative solution to the high unemployment is an urgent concern in SA. This is even more especially as the country is looking forward to celebrating Youth Day on 16th July 2018.
Currently, skills development programs and Gig Economy participation are coming up as the smart solutions to the challenge. The two are creating platforms for youths to improve their skills recognized internationally. They are also able to get global work experience at the same time. Gig Economy is a flourishing environment of freelance work or short-term contract. It is in a position to create the required opportunities for job seekers and those with the aim of improving their skills. Gig Economy’s promising prospects in the country led to the coming up of Nerd Academy. This is an initiative developed by Piehole.tv in partnership with ProcurementExpress.com. The academy gives free programs designed to improve the skills of unemployed. It, therefore, helps them in marketing themselves to canvass successfully for work In Asia, US, Europe and the rest of the world.
Piehole.tv founder Priscilla Kennedy said that the program is going to be a success. This is because those who were initially unemployed are getting jobs in places like San Francisco. Moreover, those who are securing jobs are contracting out others. According to Kennedy web development, storyboarding, translation, graphic design, and administrative work are an example of skills that are developed in the program. Moreover, through the skills, people can generate revenue. There is an increase in the number of independent workers globally. According to Kennedy, the country has just started to explore the potential of the South African youths. He based his facts from his almost ten years’ experience of working with some global companies. He added that it calls for imaginative solutions and collective responsibilities to solve the youth unemployment in the land. There should be ways that take note of the importance of skills development to get the decent job opportunities in SA and worldwide.
President Cyril Ramaphosa also shared the same sentiments. In March this year, the president announced the Youth Employment Services (YES) initiative. Yes is meant to offer more jobs and training for young workers in SA. The initiative is a new partnership between business and government. Kennedy added that Gig Economy through online access has more potential for young people in rural areas. These are those who are still jobless despite having marketable and qualification skills. It is also essential for the youths who want to improve their set of skills but cannot travel to tertiary institutions or afford expensive courses. The country youths can enhance their skills or kick-start their carriers by maximizing technology and various freelance platform and online courses. This will at the end of the day helps them to compete favorably in the global digital economy.