Sub-Saharan Africa continues to report the highest youth poverty rates globally at 69 percent, ILO Skills and Employment Specialist tells workshop Taking place in Birchwood Hotel, Ekurhuleni, a workshop on Public Employment Services was hosted by South Africa as the current chair of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Employment and Labour Sector. The workshop aims to address youth employment in the SADC region. The two day workshop under the stewardship of the Department of Labour is held under the theme: “Addressing Youth Employment in the SADC region”. According to Dr Laura Brewer, a Skills & Employment Specialist at the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Pretoria, young workers in the region have one of the highest probabilities of living in poverty in comparison to adults. She says access to education is the primary underlying factor in the decision not to participate in the labour market for 15-19 year olds. According to Dr Brewer, the major challenge for young people aged 20-29 is the lack of decent work opportunities. During the tenure of the workshop, member states will be sharing experiences and challenges, as well as to come up with best practices on how to approach the unemployment phenomena. SADC states intend to hold similar workshops on a yearly basis to achieve more regional cooperation on strategies and interventions for addressing unemployment in the region. The two day meeting will be unpacking the following five issues: enabling PES to link youth with jobs in the formal economy; making public employment services accessible for youth; linking PES with employment opportunities in public employment education or training; youth employment cooperatives in rural and peri-urban areas; and, targeted employment service support for vulnerable groups and people with disabilities. The workshop ends on Wednesday, 14 February 2018. -END- Issued by: Teboho Thejane  Departmental Spokesperson  082 697 0694  

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