Investigating the agricultural sector as a provider of youth employment in the North West Province
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The majority (66%) of the unemployed youth in South Africa are (15-34 years). Agriculture is a significant sector in the South African economy and remains a significant employment provider. This study aimed to investigate the agricultural sector as a provider of youth employment in the North West Province. A descriptive cross-sectional research design was employed to guide the study. A total of 120 unemployed youth from different households in the Dr Kenneth Kaunda District were selected for this study using the purposive sampling technique. A standardised questionnaire used for a similar study within the North West Province was adapted, pre-tested and used for this study. Data were analysed descriptively and inferentially using Statistical Software Package (Stata 16.1). Findings from the study showed that most (51%) unemployed youth were below 25 years old. The majority (80%) of the respondents reportedly searched for jobs in the last year, and most (60%) had no high school certificate. Unavailability of employment, lack of needed jobs, and neglect of job-seeking efforts affected youth employment. The majority (76%) of the respondents grew up in an agriculture-oriented family, but the majority (80%) had no formal farming experience and (87%) have no agricultural education. Common barriers to training and education of the youth in agriculture were lack of minimum requirements for training in agriculture (35%), lack of information (33%), inadequate finances (28%) and poor support from family (13%). Just a few (11.4%) of the youth in their current study had access to land for farming with lesser youth (7%) possessing the resources to start farming. It is recommended that the government establish and resource agricultural information centres to provide technical support for the youth and others who wish to venture into agribusinesses. Agricultural colleges should also work with FET colleges to provide agricultural skills development training centres for the youth who do not meet higher education requirements.