Hundreds of thousands of students graduate each year from the over 600 universities in Africa. This notwithstanding, there is a conundrum – with many employers lamenting glaring skills gaps on one hand, and persistent youth unemployment on the other. The mismatch between skills training and job-requirements in-part explains why about 10 million African graduates have still not found jobs.
Enterprise promotion and human resource development in Africa are key in achieving the goals of decent living standards, social and economic integration, personal fulfillment and social development where 60 per cent of unemployed people are youth below the age of 25. With no signs that population growth will slow in the decades to come, it is imperative that Africa leverages the talent and energy of its youth to create higher levels of prosperity and equality and avoid the risks associated with of unemployment such as social instability.
The African Skills Portal for Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship (ASPYEE) provides a continental platform on which good practices relevant to creating and promoting employment opportunities for young people and practitioners can be shared.
1.1. Career Advice
Career advice forms part of promoting employment among African youth and is a service intended to assist individuals, of any age and any point throughout their lives, to make educational, training and occupational choices and to manage their careers. It is an important consideration in the implementation of technical vocational education and training (TVET), as it guides learners in their career and employment paths, thereby matching labour supply with market demands.
Entrepreneurship is defined as the capacity and willingness to develop, organise and manage a business venture along with any risks in order to make profit. In this regard, entrepreneurship is an important factor in enabling TVET graduates to actively participate in the mainstream of the economy. Accordingly, due diligence should be paid to building technical and entrepreneurial skills for enterprise development in TVET initiatives.
An internship is a structured and monitored workplace experience gained through exposure and interactions within a real work environment. Internships, often structured as Work-Study Alternation, can be effective vehicles for promoting a work-orientated study programme as it allows the learner to acquire skills related to their chosen trade, within a real life context.
1.4. Volunteering schemes
One of the ways in which young people can be assisted to improve their skills and employment prospects is to offer them opportunities to take up volunteering as part of their formal and informal learning process. This would enable them to discover the value of voluntary services and help foster a sense of community responsibility and active citizenship.
1.5. Exchange opportunities
Exchange opportunities offer broad based benefits for young people and increase their employability. Firstly, international learning and knowledge propels students towards an appreciation and understanding of an array of different cultural and community perspectives. The second benefit is that of self-development and awareness which leads to enhanced self-confidence and self-esteem. Finally, this opportunity increases employability because prospective employers consider favorably experience of prospective employees gained while living other countries outside their native countries.
1.6. Matching services
The phenomenon of “unemployed graduates” is widespread in Africa. In many countries, a large number of graduates from the formal school system, including university graduates, are unemployed, although the economy still has opportunities for skilled workers. This condition is referred to as “Skills Mismatch” and it is defined as the gap between the skills required on the job and those possessed by individuals. It is imperative that the educational and training service provides deliberately bridge the gap between the labour and skills demand, and the learning scope and content that they provide to students.
1.7. Recognition of prior learning
The Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is a process through which formal, non-formal and informal learning are measured, mediated for recognition across different contexts and certified against the requirements for credit, access, inclusion or advancement in the formal education and training system or workplace. The aim is to make it possible to obtain formal recognition for knowledge gained throughout life, such as in workplaces and own reading or experiences. The RPL process also entails providing support to a candidate to ensure that knowledge is discovered and displayed in terms of a relevant qualification registered on the National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
he immediate and emerging labour market in Kenya and the East African Region at large is experiencing basic level skills shortages in new economy sectors. Ironically, the country and the region experience a youth bulge, which, however, is characterised by high levels of unemployment.
CAP-Youth Empowerment Institute Kenya (YEI) is a non-government organization started in 2011 committed, to train youth out of school in job entry level skills.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) places the prevalence of disabilities in Zambia at 15%, asserting that 2 million women and men have some form of disability. . However, the Government official data, obtained from the 2010 national census, places the prevalence at 2% (CSO, 2010). It can be deduced from the remarkable differences in statistics that possibly the structure of Government statistical records does not include some forms of disabilities.
In South Africa today approximately half of our young people are unemployed due to educational challenges at poor-performing schools, particularly in the subjects of Maths and Science, and many high school students today who attend under-resourced schools in disadvantaged areas, struggle to achieve a Bachelor-level pass rate (the minimum requirement for admission to tertiary studies) in matric.
The Go for Gold programmes seek to address these deficiencies at various levels from education to employment; ensuring all gaps are addressed and opportunitie s taken.
WAVE describes the high youth unemployment rate in West Africa and the insufficient preparation of youth (16 – 30 years old) in schools and universities to participate and compete in the job market as the core motivation for starting the organization.
In Cameroon, 70% of population is under 30 and young people account for more than 2/3 of the population but almost 60% of all unemployed. The potential is however enormous, young people are motivated but without fields of action.
Our commitment is to guide these young people and women on the way of digital entrepreneurship, because digital and new technologies have endless opportunities for decent and sustainable jobs, but above all the possibility for these young people and women to use technology to innovate and build business to creatively solve social problems.
The African Union in its report Strategy to Revitalise Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in Africa identifies linkage of TVET to the labour market and development of business management and entrepreneurship skills in the vocational training programmes as key strategic issues that need to be addressed.