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Are you:a NEET Youth

NEET YOUTH – Not In Education, Employment or Training

Who is NEET Youth

  • These are South African Youth who are currently Not in Education, Employment or Training.
  • According to the figures from the Labour Market Dynamics in South Africa (2014) released by the Statistics South Africa, young people in South Africa continue to face a number of obstacles; their unemployment rate is double that of adults. In 2014, 51, 7% of young people aged15-34 had never worked before; in addition, 31, 3% of young people were not in education, employment or training (NEET).

Resources to Aid NEET Youth

It is very important for one to understand and know themselves when it comes to making a career choice or choosing career path, either by; searching for employment, developing a Skill, or furthering your studies, you need to ask these questions;

  • Where do you see yourselves in the future (Short and Long term goals)?
  • What is it that you like and love doing?
  • What are you interested in?
  • What are your values?

These questions help in giving you direction of where to go and what you need to develop, enhance your career self.

Tools to get you started:

  1. Start your own Business (ENTREPRENEURSHIP) - is the development of a business from the ground up, coming up with an idea and turning it into a profitable business.

    There are places and/or institutions where you can acquire the skills you need to set your foot in the labour market. As indicated, the path that you would like to venture into will determine the place where you can acquire the skills. What is critical is that you put on courage and determination to find information.
    Information changes things. You may consider visiting some of the following websites:

  2. EXPANDED PUBLIC WORKS PROGRAMMES (EPWP) - The EPWP was launched in 2004 and is currently still being implemented. The EPWP is a nationwide programme covering all spheres of government and state-owned enterprises. The Programme provides an important avenue for labour absorption and income transfers to poor households in the short to medium-term. EPWP Projects employ workers on a temporary or on-going basis either by government, by contractors, or by other non-governmental organisations under the Ministerial Conditions of Employment for the EPWP or Learnership employment conditions. The EPWP creates work opportunities in four sectors, namely, Infrastructure, Non-State, Environment & Culture and Social.

  3. The Department of Public Works can be contacted for further information on the EPWP. Contact details are available on this link.

  4. EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR - There are plenty of government opportunities for people without Grade 12. These opportunities are advertised on the Department of Public Service Administration on a fortnightly basis.

  5. LEARNERSHIPS - A Learnership is a work-based learning programme that leads to an NQF registered qualification. Learnerships are directly related to an occupation or field of work, for example, electrical engineering, hairdressing or project management. There are learnerships for people without Grade 12.

  6. You can contact the relevant Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) to check if they have learnerships that do not require Grade 12. A list of SETAs and their contact details is available on this link.

  7. VOCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES - The academic route is not the only pathway to realise your career aspirations. There are vocational opportunities available.

  8. VOLUNTARY OPPORTUNITIES - The National Department of Social Development registers Non-Profit Organizations and there is a database of all registered NPOs available on the website. Many NGOs have voluntary opportunities. Unemployed youth can consider these opportunities as a launch pad for career development and skills acquisition. The youth can be encouraged to contact NGOs in their communities to enquire about voluntary opportunities and express their interest in such opportunities.

    Voluntary opportunities pave ways for future employment. Click on this link to access information on registered NPOs per province. Following are some of the useful links:


    • Apprenticeship: The apprenticeship system is a formal training approach, combining classroom instruction and on the job training, through which a learner can become a recognised artisan within a technical field (trade) such as- welding, plumbing, fitting, mechanic and electrician.

      Learners accepted on an apprenticeship are required to pass the relevant modular and phase tests, as well as a final trade test to be recognised as a qualified artisan. During the apprenticeship the learner will also be require to gain practical experience through working closely with a qualified and experienced artisan/s.

    • Internship: is a structured training programme that seeks to provide unemployed youth graduates and student interns with an opportunity to gain practical work experience in the real work environment.

      The purpose of the programme is to provide the young graduates access to workplace skills training to improve their employment opportunities both within and outside the Public Service. At the start of the internship, an intern is allocated a mentor to support and coach him/her throughout the programme. Upon completion of the programme, the host employer may decide whether to absorb the intern into the organisation or not.


    The South African higher education system looks like the following:


    • Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)

    • Community Colleges
      Community colleges have been established to cater mainly for youth and adults who did not complete their schooling or who never attended school and thus do not qualify at TVET colleges and universities. They build on the current offerings of the Public Adult Learning Centres to expand vocational and skills-development programmes and non-formal programmes. Formal programmes will include:

      1. General Education and Training Certificate (GETC);
      2. Senior Certificate (currently offered);
      3. National Senior Certificate for Adults (NASCA) [proposed]; and
      4. Skills or occupational programmes

    • University of Technology
      Universities of technology were formerly known as technikons. A university of technology, in addition to the basic responsibilities of a university, places particular emphasis on the search for innovative applications of technology in all fields of human endeavour.

    • University
      A list of universities is available on the Department of Higher Education and Training website.

Admission requirements

Different institutions have different admission requirements. Additionally, different qualifications have different admission requirements. Therefore, if you wish to study and /or articulate you need to familiarise yourself with the admission requirements for the qualification/course/programme and the institutional requirements.

Once you are aware of what you have it should be convenient to identify opportunities available for you.

  • Mature Age Exemption

    The general definition of a mature applicant is someone who is 23 years old before or during the year in which he/she wishes to enrol for a formal programme. Another category of mature candidates refers to people older than 45 years who did not follow the secondary school route in the South African schooling system and aspire to entire higher education. Such candidates may apply for conditional matriculation exemption from the Matriculation Board of South Africa for entering formal programmes at South African universities.

  • Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
    RPL refers to a formulised evaluation and acknowledgement of relevant knowledge and skills that a mature learner has gained other than through formal study. This may also include assessment of work and life experience relevant to the learning programme considered.

For further information contact the institution through which you wish to further your studies.


Sometimes it happens that your aspiration is met with a financial challenge. In which case, you should be on the lookout for available financial assistance. There are different forms of funding opportunities. See the list and descriptions below:

  • The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS)
    It is the South African government student loan and bursaries schemes. It was set up help South African student to further their education at public TVET colleges and universities.

  • Scholarship
    A scholarship is academic financial sponsorship awarded to an academically deserving student which consists of conditions and criteria the candidate must meet. The sponsorship awarded covers at the least a portion of the student’s tuition, if the payment made does not fully cover the fees the student or their parents have to make up the rest. The good thing about a scholarship is that the student does not have to pay any of the money back. In most cases the beneficiary of the scholarship has to maintain a certain average in terms of their marks and stick to conditions set by the sponsor.

  • Bursary
    It is an academic sponsorship that covers the full costs of study including study material, tuition, accommodation and sometimes pocket money for living expenses. It is granted on the basis of financial need and/ or good academic results. A bursary is paid back in service to the company or entity that sponsored the candidate, they will have to work for the sponsor for the same amount of years they sponsored them or paid for their fees. Although a bursary covers your fees, if there is a module the student fails they will be expected to pay for it themselves.

  • Study Loan
    A study loan refers to money borrowed to pay for academic tuition (in some instances accommodation too) that has to be paid back with interest. Different loans charge interest differently, it is important to know how the loan you intend to take charges interest. A loan should only be given out by a registered financial institution.


Definitions of employability skills abound. The basic definition is: the skills that you need to enter, stay in, and progress in the workplace-whether you are self-employed or working for others.

Being unemployed is not always necessarily due to lack of employment opportunities. It is also due to skills associated with or required for obtaining and retaining an employment opportunity.

To learn more click on this link.

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