Overview of SA Youth Vacancies
South Africa has been experiencing high unemployment levels which have been worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic. Among the most affected are the country’s youth, with those between the ages of 15 and 34 years struggling to secure employment opportunities. According to Statistics South Africa, the unemployment rate for the youth in the first quarter of 2021 was at 46.3%.
This has led to the government and private sector creating initiatives aimed at addressing youth unemployment. These initiatives mostly involve creating job opportunities, improving education and training, and supporting entrepreneurship among the youth.
The government has established organizations such as the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) and the Department of Employment and Labour, which have been instrumental in providing various employment programs, training, and funding for young people.
Some of the youth employment programs offered by the government include the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI), the Youth Employment Service (YES), and the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI).
ETI provides employers with tax incentives to hire young people who have little to no work experience. YES, on the other hand, provides a one-year full-time job placement for unemployed youth. The PYEI aims to create more employment opportunities for young people and aims to support entrepreneurship programs.
In addition to the government initiatives, numerous private sector companies have also established various youth employment programs. These programs include internships, learnerships, and graduate development programs. They provide opportunities for young graduates to gain work experience in various fields such as finance, engineering, law, and health care.
For instance, companies such as Telkom, Pick n Pay, and the banking sector have created their own youth employment programs aimed at providing opportunities and training for young people.
The rise of the digital economy has also created employment opportunities for young people. Online platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer.com have provided opportunities for young people to work as freelancers and earn a living. The demand for skills in areas such as digital marketing, software development, and graphic design has seen a rise in the number of freelance job opportunities.
However, despite these initiatives, youth unemployment remains a significant challenge for the country, with more proactive approaches required to solve the issue. Combining efforts by the government, private sector, and civil society is critical in addressing youth unemployment and creating a sustainable future for South Africa’s youth.
Benefits of SA Youth Employment Opportunities
The South African youth job market is becoming increasingly competitive. With so many young people looking for work, employers have their pick of candidates. Despite this, companies still recognize the importance of hiring young people. Youth employment opportunities offer many benefits to both the employer and the employee. Here are some of the ways that youth employment opportunities in South Africa can benefit young people:
A youth employment opportunity can be the starting point for a long and successful career. Many employers offer training and support to help young people develop their skills and advance in their chosen field. Through work experience and on-the-job training, young people can develop the skills and knowledge they need to progress in their careers. In addition, some employers offer mentoring or coaching programs to help young people build the soft skills that are so important for success in the workplace.
For many young people, finding a job means financial stability. A steady income can help young people support themselves, pay for education, and contribute to their families. Having a job also helps young people to build their financial independence, setting them up for a more secure future.
Networking and Professional Connections
One of the benefits of youth employment opportunities is the opportunity to network and make professional connections. Meeting new people and building relationships can help young people to discover new opportunities, learn about different career paths, and build a valuable network of professional contacts.
Experience and Skills
Perhaps the most obvious benefit of youth employment opportunities is the chance to gain work experience and develop new skills. Employers recognize the importance of work experience, and hiring young people is a way for companies to build their future workforce. Through work experience, young people can develop a better understanding of their strengths and weaknesses, as well as the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the workplace. All of these benefits can help young people to advance their careers and achieve their goals.
Finally, youth employment opportunities can also benefit young people by supporting their personal development. Working with others, taking on new challenges, and solving problems can all help young people to build their confidence and self-esteem. In addition, the structure and routine of employment can help young people to develop good habits that will benefit them throughout their lives.
How to Find and Apply for SA Youth Vacancies
Once you have identified the type of vacancy you want to apply for, you need to know how and where to find the available opportunities. In South Africa, there are many ways to search for youth vacancies, including:
1. Online Job Sites:
One of the easiest and most effective ways to find youth vacancies is through online job sites. These websites allow you to create a profile, filter through vacancies, and apply for positions. Job sites like Indeed, CareerJet, and Pnet, etc., are a great starting point. You can search through these websites for keywords like “youth jobs,” “entry-level jobs,” or “internships,” and filter your search results by location, industry, and salary, etc.
2. Social Media:
Social media platforms Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, and many similar ones have become great sources for job posts. Many companies now post about their job openings on social networks because of the potential audience on these platforms. So, you should follow company pages on these social platforms, search for related hashtags like #youthjobs, #jobopenings, and #internships, and use the platforms’ job search functionality. You can also join professional groups for the industry you are interested in on these platforms and network with people who can help you find openings.
3. Career Fairs:
Career fairs are an excellent opportunity to learn about different companies and job openings. These events are usually organized by universities, colleges, and municipalities, and companies participate to meet potential employees. You can network with recruiters, attend informative sessions, learn about a particular industry and what qualifications and skills are required, and apply on the spot on certain occasions. So, you should keep an eye on the announcements of such fairs and prepare yourself beforehand to get the most out of them.
4. Company Websites:
You can also search for available positions on a company’s career portal or by checking their vacancies sections. Many companies advertise job openings on their websites first before posting them on other platforms. So, you can regularly check their recruitment pages, subscribe to their mailing lists, and set up alerts for new job postings. Most company websites feature a “careers” or “jobs” tab, which shows their latest job openings. You can browse through them, read about the requirements and responsibilities and apply if you are eligible.
5. Government portals:
The government of South Africa runs several programs and initiatives to create employment opportunities. The Unemployed Graduate Programme (UGP), for example, is a government initiative aimed at helping unemployed graduates gain practical experience. Additionally, the Department of Labour has a designated portal for youth jobs, which collects vacancies from different sectors. You can visit these portals, register your profile, and apply for the opportunities available on them.
In conclusion, finding youth vacancies can be challenging, but with the right approach, you can increase your chances of landing a job. By utilizing the platforms listed above, researching the companies you would like to work for, and networking, you can take the first steps towards securing a job that aligns with your career goals.
Success Stories of SA Youth in the Workplace
Many young South Africans struggle to find employment after completing their studies. However, there are those who have not let the tough job market stand in their way of achieving their dreams. Here are some inspirational stories of young South Africans who have achieved success in the workplace:
1. Nhlanhla Ndlovu
Nhlanhla Ndlovu is a 25-year-old entrepreneur from Cape Town who founded a logistics company called Soweto Group. Starting with just one bakkie (pickup truck), his company now provides logistics services to companies such as Coca-Cola and Unilever. Ndlovu is also passionate about empowering young people in his community and has created job opportunities for them through his company.
2. Khayelihle Mthembu
After finishing matric in 2014, Khayelihle Mthembu couldn’t afford to go to university. Instead, he enrolled in a learnership program at a call centre in Durban. He excelled in the program and was eventually offered a permanent job as a customer service consultant. Mthembu has since been promoted to a team leader position and is now studying towards a business degree through UNISA.
3. Zama Mpungose
Zama Mpungose was orphaned at a young age and had to drop out of school to take care of her younger siblings. After completing her matric through correspondence, she struggled to find employment. However, she refused to give up and eventually landed a job as a receptionist at a law firm in Durban. She has since been promoted to a legal secretary and is pursuing a law degree through UNISA.
4. Mandla Mthembu
Mandla Mthembu is the co-founder and CEO of MEC Group, a construction and project management company that has worked on projects such as the Moses Mabhida Stadium and the refurbishment of Durban’s King Shaka International Airport. Mthembu started the company with his brother while still studying engineering at university. Despite facing numerous challenges along the way, the brothers have grown MEC Group into a successful business with a turnover of over R100 million.
Mthembu believes that young people need to be more entrepreneurial in order to succeed in today’s job market. “We need to stop waiting for someone else to create jobs for us and start creating our own opportunities,” he says.
These success stories prove that with hard work, determination, and a little bit of creativity, young South Africans can achieve great things in the workplace. They serve as an inspiration to other young people who may be struggling to find their place in the job market.
The Future of SA Youth Employment and Vacancies
South Africa’s youth unemployment rate remains a major social and economic challenge, with approximately 3.3 million young people currently out of work. However, there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of employment opportunities for South Africa’s youth.
1. Digital Technologies
As digital technologies continue to evolve, they are creating new opportunities for young people to enter the workforce. In particular, the development of e-commerce platforms and mobile applications has created numerous job opportunities in areas such as digital marketing, app development, and web design. In addition, remote work has become increasingly popular, which has made it easier for young people to access job opportunities regardless of their location.
2. Green Industries
The global transition towards sustainable and renewable energy sources has created numerous job opportunities in green industries such as solar and wind power, energy efficiency, and green construction. These industries are poised for significant growth in the coming years, which should create a range of job opportunities for young people with specialized skills in these areas.
South Africa has a rich history of entrepreneurship, and with the rise of technology and the scaling of micro-enterprises globally, there has never been a better time for young people to start their own businesses. The government’s focus on public-private partnerships has led to the creation of numerous initiatives aimed at supporting youth entrepreneurs, including access to funding, skills development programs, and mentorship opportunities.
4. Infrastructure Development
South Africa’s need for infrastructure development has led to a range of job opportunities in areas such as construction, engineering, and project management. With the government’s focus on improving the country’s infrastructure, there should be a steady stream of job opportunities in these areas for young people with the necessary skills and qualifications.
5. Education and Training
While there are numerous job opportunities for young people in emerging industries, access to education and training remains a key factor in unlocking these opportunities. The government’s focus on improving the quality of education, particularly in the STEM fields, should help to create a pipeline of qualified young people who are ready to enter the workforce. In addition, private sector initiatives aimed at skills development, such as internships and apprenticeships, are creating opportunities for young people to gain practical experience and upskill in areas where there is high demand for talent.