Young people exploring alternatives in the world of work
Category : PACSA news
35 young people from the Eastwood suburb in Pietermaritzburg were hosted by Source of Hope Youth Foundation, a PACSA community partner, at a workshop which focussed on youth employability, entrepreneurship and alternatives in the world of work. The objective of the workshop was get a conversation going amongst young people in the Eastwood community on the reality of youth unemployment which stands at over 65% of young people of working age and how young people can assist each other to create their own livelihood and work.Youth unemployment is a global problem and youth unemployment stands at 43% (official) and as high as 53-63% at the expanded rate in South Africa. About two-thirds of unemployed youth has never had a job. This level of unemployment amongst youth takes place in a context where 60.3% of the population is 30 years of age or younger. Youth unemployment therefore has severe implications for economic opportunity and social and political stability.
The workshop participants discussed various innovative ways to create small businesses but also solidarity ventures that can assist young people to chart their own ways in the world of work. What emerged as critical was that young people must allow themselves to dream and imagine alternatives and not only fit into the traditional entrepreneurial models even as they use the tools of these models such as writing business plans. It was further agreed that more follow-up workshops will be conducted which will start focussing on specific business ideas that could be incubated and explored by youth in Eastwood.
In line with this idea the Source of Hope Youth Foundation launched a School Entrepreneurial Program. This pilot program will target grade 12 students at Eastwood Secondary School and has two phases. The first phase is a 3 days training on imaging alternatives in the world of work and entrepreneurship and the second phase is to research emerging ideas, business plan development and then capital sourcing to implement these ideas. For the young people attending the workshop this initiative promises to be the beginning of new thinking and approach to life.