Unemployment is a significant economic issue facing many countries around the world and Botswana is no exception. The impact of this can be felt at both individual and national levels.
Statistics indicate that the unemployment rate in Botswana for young people aged 15 – 24 was significantly higher at 43.9% in 2021, and unemployment being gendered in Botswana, women have a higher unemployment rate (55.4%) than men (44.6%). In addition, young people in urban villages and rural areas face higher unemployment rates (53.8% and 29.1% respectively) than those residing in cities and towns (17.1%)
The need for youth employability training has become increasingly important in today's job market. With technological advancements and globalization, the job market has become more competitive than ever before. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly impacted the job market, making it even more challenging for young people to find employment.
Generation Unlimited (Gen-U) is a global partnership aimed at skilling 1.8 billion young people and connecting them to opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship, and social impact. In Botswana, the UNICEF Gen-U program embarked on a nationwide tour to conduct youth employability trainings aimed at addressing youth unemployment and matching labor demand to labor supply. This included the showcasing of work opportunities available to young people and augmenting connections between young people and existing work opportunities.
Equally important, the tour also aimed to increase Gen-U engagement and exposure amongst young people in Botswana, boost existing employability trainings for at least 2000 young people, educating young people about digital platforms such as Yoma and others to improve their job readiness.
In addition, the trainings included a crash course in digital literacy, to empower young people with a comprehensive understanding of digital innovation and the abundant opportunities it offers, fostering their ability to adapt, create, and thrive in an increasingly digital world.
One of the key benefits of youth employability training is that it provides participants with practical skills that are in demand in the job market. This includes skills like communication, problem-solving, teamwork, and time management. By developing these skills, young people are better equipped to succeed in various jobs and industries.
Another important benefit of youth employability training is that it can help young people build their confidence and self-esteem. By learning new skills and gaining practical experience, young people can feel more confident in their ability to succeed in the job market. This can be especially important for young people who may be facing barriers to employment, such as a lack of work experience or educational qualifications.
The post feedback of the trainings done in Serowe and Francistown indicate that most participants have never been engaged in such trainings before. The survey conducted after the training also indicated that the trainees were satisfied with the level of engagement and charisma they received from the trainers, and were enthusiastic as they felt the training was an eye opener and positively impacted their lives.
Overall, youth employability training is a valuable resource for young people who are looking to enter the job market. By providing practical skills, industry-specific knowledge, and confidence-building opportunities, these programs can help young people succeed in various careers and industries.