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Here Are The Gruelling Stats On The Educated But Unemployed Youth Of South Africa

Why do we still lack the platforms and money to fuel our ideas? Why is the government failing to facilitate this process?

23/06/2017 03:57 SAST | Updated 23/06/2017 06:27 SAST
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Here are the three top things that are likely to happen to you post-graduation:

1) Great success - You are a startup entrepreneur or a hotshot graphic-design prodigy, or you get scooped up by a big established company as their graduate employee thanks to your preternatural language and crypto skills or a bit of luck. If this was going to happen to you, you'd know already.

2) A return home - those four parent/NSFAS-subsidised years in the gleaming streets of Joburg were fun, but now it's back to Louis Trichardt, where you will work a service-industry job which is even more unlikely these days since the unemployment rate in most small towns is sitting well above 50 percent. Most industries have turned to cheap labour which is mostly offered by foreigners mostly Zimbabweans. Or wait for the parents to buy you data to surf the internet at the end of the month.

3) Pure aimlessness - you want to go to grad school (or even law school, maybe?), but your lack of sellable skills and the great expanse of life stretching before you is terrifying. So, for now, you drink too much and fritter your nights away on a series of fleeting relationships until you feel hollowed-out and blurry and you start to hear the sound of your own desperation keening away inside of you like an ear-splitting siren audible only to you. Thinking about your future.

The uncertainty of the future after graduating can be nerve-wracking to some students. What makes it so hard is that ever since I can remember, there was always some sort of "next step." After elementary came middle school, after middle was high school, after high school, it was University/College, and after college is... Nobody knows!

Current status

Five million unemployed people, 3.5 million are under 35 with 175,000 being graduates.

* Chance of being absorbed into the workforce with matric - 51.1 percent

* Chance of being absorbed into the workforce with tertiary education - 76.7 percent

* Number of unemployed South Africans with matric - 1.7 million

* Number of unemployed South Africans with tertiary education - 405,000

* Unemployed youth (15-24 years)

The demographics of the unemployed are as follows:

Black male - 35 percent

Black female - 46 percent

White male - 14 percent

White female - 22 percent

Indian male - 22 percent

Indian female - 34 percent

Coloured male - 32 percent

Coloured female - 39 percent

The biggest contributing factors to these high unemployment rates in my view are:

1) The environment is not conducive enough to allow one to be able to create. There isn't enough information in the public that encourages young people to create or come up with innovations. The universities always encourage their researchers to work based on something that was done before.

2) There aren't enough government programs to develop graduates, the government should be taking the 25 percent unemployment rate very serious.

3) The monopolised economy makes it difficult for a newcomer to survive, eg. the recent pharmaceutical, DSTV anRooibosos SA scandals. These main players of the industry also act as gatekeepers, they make sure they monopolise their respective industries in such a way that any new ideas coming from a different source are crushed.

4) Funding is for the well connected – I grew up during a time when the people were always drafting business plans and stuff, I still do not know a single person whose business was funded by government entities. Apparently for one to get the funding they must be well connected, this virus has also been transmitted to the job market I hear.

5) The culture of consumers is not innovative – for how long are we going to wait for America to come up with another Facebook or Twitter or Whatsapp.

Despite all these challenges all you need to do is focus on yourself

Success at work or school isn't enough to fill the void of desire. In short, they are just requisite selections. The responsibility of changing the world means approaching life differently from everyone else. There is power in zigging when everyone else zags. Some of the experiments will dissolve into failure and with failure comes self-doubt. That is part and parcel of the process. Eventually, with experience we learn that the trick is to balance the risky endeavors by playing it safe.

There are two obstacles we face when coming up with ideas. The first obstacle is that your initial ideas are often conventional and the second obstacle is that being the bearer of new ideas, you either are overly optimistic about them, or you underestimate their potential. Fortunately, the solution is the same for both, and that's to generate lots of content and ideas because you have a better chance of striking gold.

Produce a large volume and have your target audience evaluate it. Gathering feedback from your target audience on your ideas is very helpful in finding out which one is sticky, passion helps fuel the right idea. I tell myself: Think outside the box and continue to do so - don't settle. Failing to try is worse than trying and failing. It's not just about achievement, it's about unique accomplishment because every great idea deserves a champion.

The question still remains: Why do we still lack the platforms and money to fuel our ideas? Why is the government failing to facilitate this process? To me this is radical economic transformation.