Gen Z Job Crisis - Possible Solutions

This is a follow-up article to last week's one covering the Gen Z unemployment crisis, which stands at 74.7% according to StatsSA.

 

I'm starting this with an apology. Some readers were offended by the tone and some of the examples used in Part One and after reading it a few times I can understand why. As with everything, continuous improvement and awareness tend to fuel excellence more than anything else.

 

South Africa's Generation Z (born 1997 ) is in the grips of the worst unemployment crisis in decades. They find themselves exposed to exploitation from all fronts. What's worse? They haven't woken up to this reality yet.

 

Today I want to suggest a few solutions, they are all based around one concept and that is the gig economy. According to studies, both local and worldwide, Gen Z prefer being their own bosses to finding jobs. They want to be able to travel on a whim, which is odd given the pandemic, but okay. They want financial freedom and the benefits that come with it. In the economic climate that South Africa finds itself in, these desires simply do not shake hands well with reality. Companies prefer experience to education, even for entry level roles [1] and while salaries are rising at a decent rate nationally, the cost of living is skyrocketing. These factors all come together to put a stop to any real job prospects that older Zoomers might have.

 

WesBank, one of the biggest players in South Africa's automotive space has been working to get students into affordable cars [2], while this is a concerning angle for any company to take - and even downright criminal, it might provide some relief to students who may otherwise not have access to reliable and affordable car financing. The reason why this is important is simple, as platforms like Uber and Bolt start phasing out older cars in favour of new ones, the used car market will undoubtedly see an influx of compact sedans. This is already happening. Cars like the Kia Rio sedan cost a lot less than the equivalent hatchback of the same year, used that is. This provides huge opportunities for companies like Slate (https://slatedelivery.com) that use these cars for short distance deliveries. When you consider all three factors, low cost used cars, young people with access to car financing and new consumer habits forged by the pandemic you get what is almost a perfect mix which lends itself well to the flexible financial independence that Gen Z craves.

 

This is far from being the only solution that the gig economy provides. As more businesses come online and ecommerce becomes the norm, new opportunities and formerly little-known skills come into play. Consider copyrighting, social media management, web design aided by low-code and no-code solutions. These are opportunities that play well into their skillsets. Millennials spent lots and lots of hours on YouTube and Instagram, learned how to exploit them for profit - older Gen Z have learned how to do the same and combine that with newer apps that millennials have no clue how to use. This makes them perfect marketers, they can speak to younger millennials who have huge buying power and their peers who have influence over where money is spent in their families.

 

While it does seem a little gloomy seeing as we're not discussing scalable, fancy tech startups, it's a start. Just as not everyone can be a great engineer or designer, not everyone can be CEO of a huge scalable social media empire. This article seeks to address issues that are faced by the guy on the street. It's who, I as a person I am trying to speak to. If they do find a level of solace or a way out of their predicament in reading this, I would be delighted. I am well aware that it is a lot shorter than you may have hoped for, seeing as only two real solutions were presented - rest assured I will keep updating it as time becomes available.

 

Just one last thing, I know that many of you aren't registered on this app, I'm not going to ask you to register, but where you see this article linked please do leave your thoughts if the platform allows. There will be more just like this one.

 

1, Entry Level Jobs and Experience - https://www.news24.com/w24/work/jobs/5-struggles-every-graduate-searching-for-a-job-can-relate-to-20161017

2, WesBank Graduate Finance - https://www.wesbank.co.za/home/graduate-finance

3, Slate Delivery - https://slatedelivery.com

4, Kia Sedan / Hatchback price comparison as per cars.co.za and autotrader.co.za. These were relevant at time of publishing.

5, Hero image from Forbes.com

 


James Baloyi

4 Startup Blog posts

Comments