Home Alex Pioneer Ikusasa Lethu Youth Development Program hopes to curb unemployment

Ikusasa Lethu Youth Development Program hopes to curb unemployment


Phillemon Sikhosana 

Thursday 03 June Gauteng Social Development MEC Morakane Mosupyoe officially opened the Ikusasa Lethu Youth Development Project (IYDP) in Alexandra township, North of Johannesburg.

The centre aims to improve employability to the youth of Alexandra by providing accredited skills development programmes such as: End-user computing, graphic design and multimedia, web design, nail and beauty, bricklaying, tiling, plastering, welding, carpentry, and furniture making.

“The provision of skills development in partnership with the NPO sector is part of the Department’s Sustainable Livelihoods programme. We will continue to partner with such organisations in the province, that have similar objectives in their mandate of creating youth employment opportunities and reducing poverty,” said MEC Mosupyoe.

This year’s youth month is themed under- The year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) of the 1st quarter of 2021, young people are still struggling in the South African labour market. The official unemployment rate was 32,6%. This rate was 46,3% among young people aged 15 – 34 years, implying that almost one in every two young people in the labour force did not have a job in the first quarter of 2021. About a quarter (24,4%) of the youth have jobs and 45,3% of them participate in the labour market. Within the youth, those aged 15–24 years are more vulnerable in the labour market with an unemployment rate of over 63%, an absorption rate of about 7,6% and a labour force participation rate of 20,6%.


The burden of unemployment is also concentrated amongst the youth as they account for 59,5% of the total number of unemployed persons. The unemployment rate among the youth is high irrespective of education level. The graduate unemployment rate was 40,3% for those aged 15–24 and 15,5% among those aged 25–34 years, while the rate among adults (aged 35–64 years) was 5,4%.

Some of these young people have become discouraged from participating in the labour market and they are also not building on their skills base through education and training – they are not in employment, education or training (NEET).

Of the 10,2 million persons aged 15–24 years, 32,4% (approximately 3,3 million) were not in employment, education or training – implying that close to one in three young South Africans between the ages of 15 and 24 years were disengaged with the labour market in the first quarter of 2021. The NEET rate, seen in conjunction with unemployment rates over 60%, suggests that the youth face extreme difficulties engaging with the labour market in South Africa.