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PwC: Now is the time for business and government to tackle SA’s high rate of youth unemployment

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PwC: Now is the time for business and government to tackle SA’s high rate of youth unemployment

PwC Africa CEO, Dion Shango

13th June 2019

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If ever there was a time for business, government and educators to work together to fight the high unemployment rate among SA’s youth, it is now. Preparing our youth for a mindset of life-lasting learning is critical to drive SA’s competitiveness, especially in the face of a changing workforce, says Dion Shango, CEO of PwC Southern Africa and CEO-elect for PwC Africa.

June is celebrated as Youth Month in SA and focuses in particular on 16 June – Youth Day. Unemployment, poverty, and inequality are just some of the socio-economic issues that young people face. This year’s youth month marks 25 years of democracy and there are high expectations among the public in general, businesses, educators and other stakeholders that President Cyril Ramaphosa will address some of these issues next week in his State of the Nation Address.

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Without any work experience or upskilling, we stand to lose a considerable portion of our young people that will not be absorbed into the workplace – this has a significant impact on the economy not only today but also tomorrow, Shango adds.

While fighting current levels of youth unemployment as a matter of urgency, SA must also build a pipeline of future talent that can actively take part in the age of emerging technology and innovation.

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