KZN unemployed graduates database aims to help youth find jobs and training

Mobile vehicle offices are expected to assist graduates in rural and outlying areas.

The high rate of unemployment among youth and graduates has been in the spotlight for a long time. Recent data from Statistics South Africa earlier this month showed that the country’s official unemployment rate among youth (15-34 years) was 46.3 percent in the first quarter of 2021.

It is against this backdrop that the KwaZulu-Natal government has announced the establishment of an integrated provincial unemployed graduates database.

To alleviate the effects of unemployment on graduates, the provincial government, through the youth chief directorate and the ICT unit, has devised a template to be used to collect and collate integrated, up-to-date data on unemployed graduates in the province, according to a government statement.

The aim of the online database, which will be accessible to government departments, municipalities, government agencies and the private sector, is to help recruit youth for internships and learnerships as well as establish youth trends that can help to inform policy.

The provincial unemployed graduates database will also be accessible to national programmes such as infrastructure strategic projects for unemployed youth seeking job training opportunities in various sectors.

Registration on the database will be accessible on the KZN website and will be continuous, without a closing date.

The proposed template will be made available on the KZN Online website as well as social media platforms, with graduates from rural and outlying areas being catered for by mobile vehicle offices. The youth development chief directorate will then collate information on the template and update the database on a regular basis.

The initiative was announced to coincide with Youth Month in South Africa, which commemorates the 1976 Soweto uprising on 16 June. The uprising saw between 3,000 and 10,000 black students protesting again Afrikaans as a compulsory medium of instruction in schools under apartheid, with many losing their lives during the protests.

Forty-five years later, the youth of today face different challenges – from drug and alcohol abuse, gender-based violence and femicide to dwindling employment opportunities, and it’s hoped the database will help towards solving their unemployment challenges.