Government put ascent on job creation as crisis reaches epic proportions
5 Jul 2012
Government is to create 20 000 learnerships per annum to assist youth to gain on-job experience, a move that will help prepare them for the labour market, President Jacob Zuma told a provincial Job Summit and Job Fair today (July 5).
Zuma said although the phenomenon of joblessness and unemployment was not isolated to South Africa alone, however if the problem persisted unchecked locally it poses devastating consequences. He warned that: “a bigger army of unemployed is a problem that we have to deal with immediately”.
The president was speaking at the national official launch of the Department of Labour’s (DOL) Job Fair initiative that ran parallel with a provincial Jobs Summit held at the Zululand Chamber of Business Foundation (ZCBF) Community Park at Richards Bay in KwaZulu-Natal.
Zuma likened the towering unemployment rate in the country to a small snake in a house that was left to grow because it poses no threat. He said once this ‘Mamba’ grows into a huge monster it poses security risk.
He said South Africa was faced with many challenges especially the triple challenge of unemployment, poverty and inequality which continue to dog the country. Zuma said in the spirit of promoting labour absorption, the hosting of Job Fairs was one among a host of practical initiatives that the government was embarking upon.
“We cannot solve the problem of unemployment in one day. The solution to the crisis of unemployment will not come from government alone, but it calls for society at large to join forces,” Zuma said 42% of young people under the age of 30 were unemployed. He said South Africa’s young people lacked skills, a sizeable amount have no formal education and a two third of them have never worked.
The DoL’s initiative will provide an opportunity for work-seekers to meet prospective employers and other organisations or Government Departments that can assist with their placement in different forms of employment or learning opportunities.
The Job Fairs are targeted at unemployed youth who dropped out of school, unemployed youth with school exit certificates, unemployed graduates, workers who are under-employed, retrenched or fired workers.
DoL Deputy Director-General of Public Employment Services (PES) Sam Morotoba believes that the passing into law of the Public Employment Services Bill will act as a catalyst towards halting the mounting unemployed youth rate in South Africa.
The Bill, currently being discussed at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac), it is hoped will make it compulsory for employers to notify DoL’s labour centres of their existing vacancies.
Once passed into legislation, the PES Bill will seek among others to ensure: improved access to the labour market for work seekers, promote employment of citizens, provide opportunities for new entrants to the labour market to gain work experience, improve employment prospects of persons with disabilities, improve employment prospects of work-seekers and employees facing retrenchments, facilitate access by work seekers to training and; promote employment growth and workplace productivity.
Morotoba said currently the Skills Development Act makes it voluntary for employers to register job opportunities. He argued that in the US, Europe and many countries it was standard practice for companies to report the number of vacancies.
DoL has also unveiled the first in a planned fleet of state-of-the-art buses that will roam the country to capture an updated register of job seekers across the country.
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Issued by: Department of Labour
5 Jul 2012
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