Poor education, together with a lack of social support networks, parental encouragement and career guidance are some of the reasons for historically poorer employment prospects of young people living in alternative care.
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%.
South Africa has over 10 million young people aged 15-24 years and, of these, only 2,5 million were in the labour force, either employed or unemployed. The largest share (7,7 million or 75,1 %) of this group of young people are those that are out of the labour force (i.e. inactive). The main reason for being inactive is discouragement, i.e. they have lost hope of finding a job that suits their skills or in the area they reside.
SOS Children’s Villages programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa and one in Asia revealed the difficulties experienced by young people leaving alternative care to find jobs.Their education often fails to meet labour market demands, they lack experience, and don’t have the personal contacts to get a foot in the door of formal employment.