The Direct Democracy Forum argue that while wage subsidies may benefit a net few additional employees many more would benefit from the same level of investment in education and training and skills acquisition, accompanied by concerted effort at job creation, to employ those additionally available skills. That is, investment in value-given for value-received education and value given for value received employment and in the development of jobs and of small to medium enterprises, will all benefit the unemployed and unskilled workforce far more than any number of social welfare hand-outs and make-jobs employment initiatives. The DDF believe this is best achieved from coordinated application of policies intended to accomplish these goals.
The problem is not just one of employment but is also of standards that are recognised and relied on by employers and employees alike. The DDF intend strengthening existing qualifications and certification of skills and knowledge acquisition through applying meaningful national standards for all school certificates, artisan skills and college diplomas and integrating them in a hierarchy of certification, so those with the interest and intent can advance to the highest level of achievement they are capable of and have those achievements recognised in the market-place.
Central to this will be the development of apprenticeships, mentorships and on-the-job training opportunities where the experience of workers approaching the end of their professional careers are brought together with new-entrants in the job market, often in the form of co-operative ventures, so the new can learn from the old and the old can benefit from passing on their skills and experience.
DDF policies, including but not limited to;
- Education and Training,
- Housing & Community Development,
- Local Government & Service Delivery,
- Science & Technology Development & Skills Retention,
- Taxes and TEAL
are all policies intended to be co-ordinated and directed toward economic development and employment growth with particular attention to engaging the youth in the economy. This will benefit the unemployed generally, the youth in particular, the economy and the fiscus.
On a political level, the DDF would like to educate and train DDF youth members in the understanding of democracy and their rights and duties in a democratic society, in the understanding of their rights and duties under the constitution and how they can benefit from the proper application of democratic principles and processes. The DDF have no desire to disguise adults as youths nor to use the youth as a political football in the pursuit of DDF objectives. Rather we want to develop our youth into good democrats who will serve themselves, their families, society and the country well. The DDF wish to be proud of our youth and for our youth to be proud of the democracy of which they are a part. For that to happen, South Africans have to make democracy a meaningful institution and a meaningful experience in their country.