Business should invest in creating youth employment

Keith Blake, Ottery

What came strongly to the forefront of this Youth Day celebration on June 16 – commemorating the youth who took to the streets in 1976 – was that the youth today are deeply troubled about not being employed after obtaining a hard-earned, well-deserved education to make a living.

Young people are constantly told how important it is to get an education – matric and, for those blessed to go further down the education road, a university qualification. However, wave after wave of educated youth are left despondent year after year as their hopes of finding work go unrealised. This is despite the presence of many unions and youth leagues in our country.

It seems that these unions and youth league are largely silent on the issue of youth unemployment. This needs to change.

They must engage with government and business to create youth employment. They should almost be fanatical in this exercise as the youth are restless and frustrated.

Established businesses must use their vast profits to create job opportunities for youth who have made titanic efforts to get an education and become employable.

As a top priority, business and government should work together to finance young entrepreneurs. The government should also work through municipalities and ward councillors to create job opportunities.

Business must stop the trend of using hi-tech robots and machinery to replace human beings, as it is stopping people from earning a living wage to support their families.

Technology is great but must never ever replace the person who is standing in the unemployment line.

This issue must be taken very seriously because a youth revolution is looming on the horizon. Promises and cheap talk are outdated. It is time that tangible employment opportunities are created by all.