As ANC Youth League members gather in Johannesburg to choose a new leadership and fine-tune their position on nationalisation, Fedusa has warned of a growing concern over the lack of job opportunities.

A wage subsidy scheme announced by Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in his Budget Speech is yet to materialise, largely due to opposition by the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

"This must be a training-based wage subsidy with the aim of facilitating the entry of young unemployed people into the labour market," said Krister Janse van Rensburg, acting general secretary of the Federated Unions of SA.

He says the lack of quality education has impacted mostly black South Africans, and rising unemployment was worrying.

Schools operated in a two-tier system - some performed at international standards, and others just scraped pupils through, with around 2.4 million youths not working, training or studying.

Fedusa said someone in the 15 to 24 age group with incomplete secondary school education had a 75% chance of being unemployed, dropping to 66% if they had matriculated.

Those with a tertiary qualification, but not a degree had a 50 percent chance, while those with a degree had a 17% chance of not finding a job.

"Fedusa remains concerned that the proposed wage subsidy will create a two-tier labour market open to abuse by employers who seek to maximise profit and improve their bottom line."

While Fedusa has concentred on jobs, thousands of ANCYL members jogged up to the start of the 24th ANC Youth League national congress at Gallagher Estate in Midrand singing various songs in support of incumbent youth president, Julius Malema.

Delegates also sung the controversial "dubula ibhunu".

Malema is being challenged by Lebogang Maile, the Gauteng provincial chairman although pundits give the latter little chance in winning many votes.

lathamd@bdfm.co.za