Who is the Youth Market in South Africa?

Breaking down the youth market challenges and opportunities for business. Where the youth come from and how they feed into the labour market.

Diversified development interventions need to address the youth market and its myriad problems. Do you know where the youth come from and how they feed into the labour market, looking for employment or education? Are they looking for you?

Who is The Youth Market in South Africa?

Many South African children live in households where only a mother is present.

  • In 2011, over four in every ten (41,9%) of black African children were in this situation, compared to only 9,9% of Indian/Asian children. 27,2% Black children were also in households where neither parent was present.
  • The percentage of children living with both parents was highest among Indian/Asian children (83,0%), and lowest among black African children (27,2%).

Learnerships, apprenticeships and internships appear to be dominated by black youth, many of whom come from family contexts that cannot afford to financially support career endeavors.

Youth often comment on my other blog, Keep Climbing, complaining about the difficulty of surviving and meeting professional rigors on stipends under R3000 per month.

Most learners who complain are actually paid R1500, they feel stripped of dignity in a draconian judgmental system that fails to listen.

rpl and other policies for accreditation consultation


1. Use data to inform the shape of products and services intended for the youth market

There’s great market data around, just not in all the places you might expect to need to look. As a consultant I provide clients with market insights they may not know or have not previously considered.

The Siyaka Report (2016) cites Spaull (2015)

…despite significant investments into the education system, learners from Quintile 1-3 schools (still largely catering for African learners) continue to achieve at far lower rates than their Quintile 5 counterparts (where White learners are more represented). His research clearly demonstrates how learners from the lower quintiles consistently exit the education system and fall either into unemployment or are only able to access low paying, low skilled jobs. In contrast their Quintile 5 counterparts exit the schooling system and transition quite smoothly into higher or further education and onto jobs; often jobs that have a clear pathway to professional and/or managerial positions (Spaull, 2015).

This suggests an opportunity to partner with schools if you are accredited to deliver NQFL 2, 3 and 4 qualifications.

2. Find data to determine the youth market opportunities and competitive advantages

NEETs are young people who are Neither in Employment, nor Education or Training.

The largest group of NEETs are 21 – 25-year-olds, coming in at a massive 51%. 

There are nearly 10.2 million young people between the ages of 15 and 24 years:

33% are NEET = 3 366 000 (3 million 3 hundred sixty-six thousand)

Need to know more about the youth market opportunities?

Book a 20 minute Wednesday online consultation for R250 or an hour session for R700. (both done online)

Offline Consults are R 2 500 p/hr


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