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Cyril Ramaphosa wants to scrap “work experience” requirement for the youth


The old "you need work experience, but no-one will give you the work" predicament is firmly in the crosshairs of Cyril Ramaphosa.

You know the old catch 22 situation, right? Most jobs require previous work experience, but if you don’t get work, where is that experience coming from? It seems like Cyril Ramaphosa is ready to face this challenge head-on.

Cyril Ramaphosa replies to oral questions in the National Assembly, Parliament, Cape Town. [Photo: GCIS]

Speaking during his Q and A session in Parliament on Wednesday, the President revealed that he wants to do away with certain job requirements that exclude young workers from the market due to “experience” concerns.

What did Cyril Ramaphosa say about work experience?

Bright young minds across South Africa are finishing matric or even walking away from university with degrees, only to be frozen out of employment due to these constraints. Ramaphosa isn’t too happy that these barriers exist, and he’s vowed to do something about it:

“I have spoken about this before. Young people in South Africa have said that issue with work experience – before they can even get a job – is a huge constraint for them. It prevents them from job opportunities, and they propose work experience should be removed as a requirement for employment. I agree with that.”

“Many of us must think back to where we started. We would never have got to where we are today if we required experience. I call on all of us to support them and we must give them the chance to work.”

Youth unemployment figures in South Africa

Youth unemployment, which is a targeted area of focus in the National Development Plan, decreased by 0.6 of a percentage point to 31.6% in the last quarter. These figures are still above the national average of 27.2%, and represent the challenges younger citizens face.

Cyril Ramaphosa also introduced the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative earlier in the year. It’s a collaboration between government and business to provide more jobs and apprenticeships for South Africa’s youth.

Cyril announced that 330,000 positions will be made available in South Africa this year. However, he doesn’t want to stop there. The president is suggesting that 500,000 positions could be a reality by 2019.



Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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