Young Unemployed Graduates Celebrating Freedom Day
On 25 April 2022, I met a group of 18 young unemployed graduates. The purpose for the meeting was to explore the possibility of engaging them on short term projects. These young professionals are currently candidates in various disciplines within the built environment namely, civil engineering, construction management, building science, quantity surveying, etc. During my short engagement with them, I saw a group of young people eager to commence with the careers that they had chosen. I saw fear and anxiousness. I saw desperation and jitteriness. I saw hopelessness in their eyes. I saw a group of young South Africans on the verge of losing hope.
These young people had chosen careers in the built environment. It dawned on me that the group before me was just a sample of a much, much bigger problem. Young people in South Africa are unemployed. Young people in South Africa feel excluded and ignored. Young people in South Africa feel like no one cares, either about them or their plight. There are thousands of young people yearning for opportunities. They are trained and are ready to serve their country; yet they are sitting at home.