Has government carved a deal with its key social partners around the question of Youth Wage Subsidy?
This question is made necessary by the invitation to the media issued by government yesterday to what appears to be a high profiled ceremony that is likely to impact on this question.
Yesterday’s announcement was tagged as an invite “to the launch of the historic Social Accord on Youth Employment”. The launch is to be conducted by the country’s deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe.
Many will agree that anything less than a deal around the question of youth wage subsidy is likely to be dismissed as a cop out. Government’s proposal of a youth wage subsidy was iced after the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) rejected it on the basis that it would be abused by employers. As such the initiatives designed to address South Africa’s more than 50% youth unemployment got stuck.
Yesterday’s invitation said “The launch ceremony and the broader national campaign for youth employment is led and coordinated by the Economic Development Minister Ibrahim Patel. The aim is to ensure greater alignment and integration of efforts of government and social partners in order to improve the footprint and impact of interventions to reduce a growing concern on high rates of youth unemployment in South Africa”.
“Government and social partners including the private sector, labour and community organisations will sign a collective commitment and make pledges with targets to employ young people and assist in preparing them through among others training for absorption by various industries”.
“Preceding the launch ceremony will be exhibitions by all key players in government and private sector on services and opportunities available to young people to improve their skills and get jobs”