Unemployed youths’ awareness of the National Youth Policy and the National Youth Development Agency and strategies used to find employment in Mpophomeni Township, KwaZulu-Natal.
Mthalane, Mandisa Brightness.
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The increasing rate of youth unemployment has been of great concern in South Africa. The South African government’s efforts to enhance the employability of youth, is in the form of the National Youth Policy and the establishing of the National Youth Development Agency. However, very little research exists on the level of awareness and exposure the unemployed youth have on the national development agency and its workings. The purpose of this study was to investigate the level of awareness the unemployed youth at Mpophomeni Township has about the National Youth Policy and the National Youth Development Agency and the strategies used to find employment. The theoretical framework informing the study was the Public Policy Implementation Models using the top-down, bottom-up and the hybrid implementation model. The qualitative research methods applied in-depth semi-structured interviews from sixteen unemployed youth at Mpophomeni Township. Participant selection consisted of purposive and snowballing sampling. Thematic analysis was utilised to analyse collected data through coding and creating themes. The analysis of responses showed that the strategies used to find employment consists of; applying for jobs, volunteering and starting their own business. Furthermore, most participants knew about the agency. However, participants had different encounters and attitudes towards the organization such as, having no interest or discouraged from approaching the agency for assistance. This study sought to provide possible effective ways to communicate youth development initiatives and suggest strategies to reduce youth unemployment in their township. These initiatives consist of; community visits from the organisation, the use of social media, skills development programmes, promotion of youth entrepreneurship and mentorship. Recommendations offered by this study intends to improve the level of awareness of the unemployed youth about the NYDA in their community including ways to find or create self-employment to alleviate youth unemployment.