Poor career education for in- school and out- of- school youth is one of the major factors responsible for unemployment and poor skills development in South Africa.  This point is emphasised in numerous high level policy documents including the National Development Plan (NDP) Research shows that less than 40% of `black’ school leavers go on to register for skills training or higher education courses after school. This is a major contributing factor why youth under the age of 30 make up the majority of the nation’s unemployed. Ironically, South Africa is a country with far more youth employment and training opportunities than the above figures suggest.

The main reasons these are not being pursued by young people are:

  • Lack of school-based career information about training, financing and career information
  • A poor understanding of their own career interests and possibilities
  • Learners leave Basic Education with generally poor levels of numeracy, problem solving and literacy.
  • A widespread `culture’ of dependency on government exists in South Africa. Far too many young people wait for the government to provide opportunities instead of seeking out those options for themselves.


Bongiwe Vilakazi – Youth Desk coordinator


At Philakahle, we have an office that deals with this issue and provides the youth with valuable assistance and information.

In-School and Out-of-School youth are equipped  with skills for making informed career choices, writing a professional CV, job hunting and job interview skills, job readiness, good work ethic, and basic computer skills. Our Youth Desk helps the youth that visit Philakahle for assistance with the above stated. The Youth Desk Coordinator also takes the initiative of visiting local schools to further offer assistance to the youth.

Here, there are a few pictures showing what gets done by the Youth Desk. Project.

Some show the Youth Desk Coordinator at schools and informing the youth about how to apply for tertiary education. Some show role play during a career guidance session. Some show students that are at Philakahle that are applying using the Philakahle computers and some pictures show a couple of students that the Youth Desk assisted in moving from High School to Tertiary by helping with applications and registration, and the pictures show them at their respective universities.

The youth desk also offers assistance with opening businesses

Thuli Ndaba holding her business certificatE

Sabelo Mlangeni with his business certificate

Philakahle Wellbeing Centre