Youth Month is an essential time for businesses, educators, government and other stakeholders to reflect on and consider our efforts to up-skill young people for the workplace.


Only 37% of children starting school in South Africa pass the matriculation exam, and only 4% obtain a degree.

  • SA’s education system is ranked 134th out of 138 in the 2020 – 2021 World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.  
  • Youth in South Africa continue to be disadvantaged in the labour market, with an unemployment rate higher than the national average. According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), for the first quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate was 63,9% for those aged 15-24 and 42,1% for those aged 25-34 years, while the current official national rate stands at 34,5%.
  • Although the graduate unemployment rate remains relatively low in South Africa compared to other educational levels, unemployment among the youth continues to be a burden, irrespective of educational attainment. Year on year, the unemployment rate among young graduates (aged 15-24 years) declined from 40,3% to 32,6%, while it increased by 6,9 percentage points to 22,4% for those aged 25-34 years in Q1: 2022.

It is clear that there are many students leaving school early, pass rates are low, and the demand for jobs amongst the working youth outstrips the supply.


With SA Campus, your business can get rewarded for contributing to the up-skill and employment of South Africa's youth.


A learnership is a work-based learning programme that leads to an NQF registered qualification. Learnerships are a way to provide people with work experience and recognised qualifications. So while you are working, you are gaining skills and experience, which are tested and registered as a qualification.

Doing a learnership is an excellent opportunity to learn new skills and develop a career in a field you are passionate about:

  • A Learnership is a tool for multi-skilling, as it develops the competence of employees in every component of the work processes of occupation.
  • The learning route of a Learnership is more effective in promoting the practical application of learning in the workplace than most other routes.
  • Because employees will be acquiring new knowledge and skills and applying these in the workplace, companies will raise employees’ skills levels while improving work performance.



  • The industry develops Learnerships, so the skill sets and outcomes are aligned to the requirements of the specific occupation, industry and businesses operating in the sector.
  • The credibility of qualifications registered on the NQF means that employers have the assurance that learners can demonstrate the competence reflected in their qualifications.
  • Employees are learning new skills and knowledge and will be applying them in the workplace, which means improved work standards, productivity and quality of work for companies.

For companies offering learnerships, there are significant tax rebates and achievement of important employment equity objectives, more so for companies who then provide ongoing employment (absorption) of learners once the learnerships are completed. Learnerships earn points on the BEE Scorecard under Employment Equity and Skills Development.

Author: SAC Online

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