n Skills at Work: Theory and Practice Journal - LED is a young person's game : youth employment and Local Economic Development

Volume 5, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1815-3666


In South Africa, as in many other African countries, Local Economic Development (LED) is a young field, both academically and in practice. When examining the sprightly field of LED, it is necessary to go beyond the contestation present in all growing fields and home in on its roots. LED at its very core aims to create and sustain a better life for all. There are numerous socioeconomic, political and environmental issues it must face to reach this goal. This article argues that the youth unemployment crisis represents one of the biggest threats to this endeavour, while simultaneously being a source of enormous opportunity. To date, however, youth employment has not been sufficiently and effectively targeted at the local level. This article argues that much more emphasis can, and should, be placed on the youth employment challenge within LED processes, due to both the nature of the challenge and the nature of LED itself.

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