One of the biggest challenges for youth employment is the mismatch of skills job seekers have and the requirements employers want, a study has found.
The Sikhaya Youth Assets Study, released on Wednesday by researchers of the Centre for Social Development in Africa at the University of Johannesburg, found that participants of youth employment programmes have a better chance at securing work and earning more.
The researchers interviewed 1 996 young people (those aged between 18 to 35) four times over a period of three years to come to the findings of the study.
South Africa’s unemployment rate is at a 15-year high rate of 27.6%. The youth account for more than half (52%) of the total unemployment figure.
Youth employment programmes have proven to be useful in addressing the issue. But more importantly, youth employment programmes which have a “matching” offering are most useful for participants, the study found.
“Matching is a process of bringing young people directly into contact with employers who are looking for the skills they have and orientating training to employer demands,” the report read. The probability of those securing jobs increased by 28 percentage points as a result of matching, compared to employment programmes without matching.
“Furthermore, matching also emerges as the feature that best explains higher earnings amongst those who are employed,” the report read.
“Matching also increases the number of job applications made, and the probability of still being engaged in a work-seeking activity,” the report indicated. Matching helps reducing the average time of being unemployed.