Youth Voice Journal (YVJ™) is the world's leading peer-reviewed journal publishing theoretical contributions and empirical studies on international issues affecting young people and youth work. YVJ™ is published by RJ4All Publications and is ranked and indexed by Scopus, ORCID, Kudos, Criminal Justice Abstracts, EBSCO and ERIH PLUS.
Poor economic growth has failed to create job opportunities for many young people in many countries. This has led to the social exclusion of many young people, especially in economic development. Hence an increasing number of young people, even those with college and university education, resort to crime and joining gangs as a way of survival and overcoming their economic challenges. One way of promoting social inclusion, which has been adopted by many countries including SA, is the promotion of youth entrepreneurship programmes. These programmes require substantial social and economic support from the government, the community and the private sector. Whilst some youth entrepreneurship projects are promising, others barely survive due to a lack of organisational skills amongst young people entrusted with these projects. Therefore, professional guidance and support is necessary. It is argued in this article that probation officers could offer such support and guidance over and above their administrative duties in supporting the courts to process young offenders. When probation officers contribute their knowledge and skills in youth entrepreneurship programmes, they would also be contributing to crime prevention, which is one of their core legislative mandates. Probation officers as social workers are trained in social development theory and practice in SA. Social development theory believes that economic development needs to be harmonised with social development to achieve sustainable youth development programmes. This article explores strategies that probations officers could apply to enhance and promote innovative and sustainable youth entrepreneurship programmes.
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