South Africa scraps work experience requirement for first-time job seekers.

The South African government’s plan to scrap work experience requirements for first-time job seekers in the public sector will have some major impacts on other African nations where the work experience is a major hurdle for new job seekers, a report by Xinhua states.

“Any attempts to reduce youth unemployment is supposed to be welcomed, but the quality of service should not be affected,” Prof. Jannie Rossouw, head of the school of economic and business sciences at the University of the Witwatersrand told Xinhua on Tuesday.

New graduates entering the job market will no longer be required to have work experience for an entry-level government job starting from April 2019.

With the country battling high levels of unemployment, Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo on Monday noted that the new plan is aimed at tackling youth joblessness.

Dlodlo said the move will not have an impact on services delivered by government.

“This will be structured in such a way that it does not compromise the professional and technical requirements for various fields. All we want is to streamline career paths and align skills,” she noted.

For years, unions and organizations representing young people have complained that work experience requirement for first-time job seekers by employers was making it difficult for young people to enter the job market.

In an interview with Xinhua, South Africa’s largest trade federation COSATU’s spokesperson Sizwe Pamla said the move was long overdue.

“This is going to work. The South African government policy needs to change to accommodate mostly black graduates. We should appreciate the fact that there’s no place where they sell the experience.”

Pamla said employers should always be willing to offer young people opportunities to gain the necessary experience.

“Where do you expect these graduates with no experience to get experience from if you are not willing to give them opportunities. People who have graduated should not be treated as if they are illiterate,” Pamla said.

An example for EAC member states to follow through.

As the rate of job unemployment in youth in the East African Community is skyrocketing, members state should follow through the example of South Africa to scrap this ‘burdensome work experience’.

When the ‘work experience’ is prioritized, this wreaks havoc on the job market system where the cats of nepotism, favoritism abound.

The work experience makes it hard for first-time job seekers to land the desired jobs. This creates frustration and distrust of the young generation for job employers who prefer the ‘more experienced employees’, by forgetting that these new ‘job starters’ would become the most experienced in the future.

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