I recently wrote an article on whether government’s plan to produce 30 000 artisans by 2030 is a plausible one.
According to the Ekurhuleni Skills and Training Center SA can reach this target if government provides development opportunities for older semi-skilled workers as well as young people.
This comment got me thinking about the current focus on youth development, youth employment, youth subsidies.
No-one doubts that investing in our young people is critical for the survival and future of our country. In addition having so many young people without jobs and without purpose carries multiple dangers as they often end up in gangs, abuse drugs and participate in illegal activity.
But is it not possible to create opportunities for young people without sidelining those who are over 35? It seems that people who do not fall into the 18 – 35 category are being discarded and ignored.
And what about people who have reached retirement age and still need to work in order to contribute to the household? Don’t these people need employment and training opportunities as much as the youth, and even more so because they don’t have the advantage of being young?
Most people don’t have the luxury of a retirement fund, and for others a government pension does not provide enough financial support.
I recently heard about a woman who lost her husband at the age of 60 and was forced to re-enter the workforce with no skills and no experience. You can well imagine that this woman had very little technological understanding which makes finding a job even harder.
What is being done to empower our senior citizens? Is it possible to provide equal opportunities?