Unemployed youth in Bishop Lavis, Cape Town: Aspirations and capabilities
Camphor, Freda Mary
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This study took place in Bishop Lavis, a small community in Cape Town on the Cape Flats, Republic of South Africa. Stratified random sampling was used to select ten unemployed youths that resided in the area. The problem that prompted this investigation and that needed to be addressed was the high unemployment rate amongst the youth and how their aspirations and capabilities contribute to their state of well-being. This community is subjected to extreme poverty, inequality and gangsterism. This places a heavy burden on their ability to escape deprivation and the harsh realities of not ever being able to find a job. These inferior conditions in the community impact heavily on their quality of life. As the youths develop into maturity, their inability to enter the labour market deprives them of aligning their dreams, capabilities and aspirations to the new demands of the labour market. The study is based on the Capability Approach and it is used as an evaluative tool to assess the aspirations and capabilities of the participants. The objective of the study was to bring us closer to understanding how aspirations are developed and whether such aspirations can assist the youths in transforming their capabilities into a functioning. What we learned from this study was that the aspirations of youths failed to develop from an early age and their responsiveness to opportunities has to do with their value system and adaptation to their environment. This qualitative study required consent from the participants and ethical approval from UWC research structures. Through semi-structured interviews, information about the participants’ capabilities and aspirations were recorded and analysed. Based on this analysis and evaluation, new assessment model and assessment tools are proposed as an intervention strategy for policymakers.