The current landscape of youth unemployment is far from rosy, with recent reports from StatsSA listing the jobless rate at 52.4 percent for people aged between 15 and 24 during the first quarter of this year.

While that figure is certainly cause for concern, the Linked Macro-Education Model (LM-EM) from Applied Development Research Solutions Global (ADRS) for South Africa’s job market does point to areas of growth, and if fostered correctly, industries into which our youth can develop in years to come.

“The LM-EM model is built to inform policy, help labour market participants, especially the youth, and assist human resource planners, as employers of young people,” says Asghar Adelzadeh, ADRS Global chief economic modeller.

Models such as these, according to the research firm, can help South Africa’s government officials and policy makers find a pathway for growth and help develop scenarios in which increased job creation can be put into action.

ADRS’ research has shown that with the current mix of policies, South Africa’s economy could, at best, grow at a moderate average growth rate of 2.75% between 2018 and 2030. This has the potential to add an estimated 6.2 million jobs towards total employment in the country.

By 2030, ADRS says the number of employed South Africans could sit at 22.4 million, with the unemployment rate dropping to around 19.7 percent.

While ADRS does show a relatively positive outlook in terms of how policies can turn things around for SA’s unemployment, there will still need to a be a concerted effort on the part of government to ensure the right plans are put into place and followed through.

Along with projecting what the unemployment landscape could look like between now and 2030, the LM-EM model from ADRS highlights some of the industries and occupations that may become significant in coming years.

The demand for managers in the trade, catering and accommodation sectors could swell to 150 000 over the next 12 years, with the need for computer programmers also rising by more than 15% over the same period.

“It is essential to appreciate the skills needs of the country in an interactive system that captures the relations between the economy and the education sector. LM-EM does this. It also shows that the youth can especially benefit through not only increased investment in education but also adoption of policies that directly target higher growth and employment,” concluded Adelzadeh.

You can find out more about ADRS’ research here.

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