Youth unemployment is a serious issue, in every sector. However, transport professionals need to “create” employment opportunities that enable policy implementation.
There are two distinct activities that need to be taken up by municipalities and provinces first:
- Prioritizing institutional entities that will enable policy implementation;
- Developing flexible supply chain processes for innovative transport initiatives.
The first one is rather straight forward because it means creating transport authorities, structures or entities within municipalities. In one of my earliest blogs (published in 2017) I used the term “Transport Components” to describe the concept, this was and is common language for the officials in the task team (it was new to me then).
Their main focus will be to execute on transport planning activities and build the necessary relationships with stakeholders. Most importantly, they will be the custodians of the local municipality’s transportation needs.
With over 400 local municipalities in the country, at least 1200 new jobs can be created with qualified and skilled youth as interns at first, then maturing into full time positions within the first 2 years.
These transport units do not only have to be funded by municipalities, Provinces and private sector can co-finance such initiatives through various other avenues.
The job creation potential increases exponentially when sector specific functions are introduced too. This means, new opportunities at municipal level for aviation, rail, port, public transport and road safety among others.
This could increase the employment spectrum threefold, but it is highly dependent on the effectiveness of the first iteration. It could further bring impetus to the hidden jobs already in the transport sector that need to be unearth because policy implementation is taking place (value chain jobs), which could bring the total to over 6000 new positions in public and private sectors.
Of course these are based on my own anecdotal ideas of what could happen and how best it could happen, but I suspect that this is an underestimation.
This is already happening in the North West Province where a task team was established to facilitate this first process. Over the next few years, I shall report on the developments of this task team, but there’s a genuine effort to “create” new jobs in municipalities.
Surely there’s some evidence of progress, but in our recent paper the focus is on showing how we created the task team’s underlying principles. The paper can be requested on ResearchGate but it is due for presentation at the Southern African Transport Conference during the 5-7 July.
Thank you for reading.