SA is home to a largely unskilled or semiskilled labour force, with the unskilled element growing faster as the high school dropout rate rises. Youth unemployment recently hit a record high of 58.2%.

In addition, about a third (32.3%) of those aged 15 to 24 are neither employed nor in education or training. These are either discouraged young job seekers or are just not economically active. The social and economic risk is obvious, and an urgent labour planning blueprint needs to be worked on to establish a government skills and labour planning strategy.

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