A true account of the cost of looking for work

On 5 May, Youth Capital launched their report, “Beyond the Cost: what does it really cost young people to look for work?”. Insights from the report were discussed in a panel discussion with Youth Capital’s Kristal Duncan-Williams, CSDA Researcher Senzelwe Mthembu and financial journalist Duma Gqubule. The report built on the CSDA’s Siyakha Youth Assets Employability Study and sought to understand the impact that the Covid-19 pandemic, the lockdowns and the increased use of online platforms for job seeking has had on the cost of job seeking.

The report shows that looking for work is expensive. 40% of respondents spend between R250 and R499 on transport each month, looking for work and 42% spend between R250 and R499 on data per month. This indicates the high costs that young job seekers have to bear to find a job in South Africa. The report doesn’t just touch on the financial implications that young people face and identifies solutions that could help reduce the barriers that people encounter when looking to enter the labour market.

The CSDA’s Prof Lauren Graham penned the foreword to the report and says “Much attention has been paid to creating work opprtunities and to driving skills development; but if young people continue to be locked out of accessing these opportunities due to income poverty, then we will continue to leave far too many young people behind. With this report Youth Capital brings the issue back to the centre of the debate, highlighting that, as a country, we are yet to figure this one out in our suite of interventions.”

Read the full report here.

The report has received lots of media attention with Senzelwe Mthembu interviewed on the Cathy Mohlahlana show on SAfm and a Power 98.7 roundtable on the cost on job seeking in South Africa.

You can watch the full webinar here.

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