Even as South Africa slowly emerges from the suffocating economic grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, recently launched employment statistics continue to make for grim studying, with nearly eight million individuals unemployed.
South Africa truly recorded improved economic exercise within the fourth quarter of 2021, together with an expansion in real GDP of 1.2% in comparison with the earlier quarter, but unemployment still reached document levels.
Denice Dumisa
According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), unemployment in Q4 last yr rose to 35.3% from 34.9% within the previous quarter. This is the best level because the begin of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even extra alarmingly, the youth unemployment price stood at a staggering sixty five.5%.
The newest employment knowledge was launched on the finish of March by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and got here simply days after South Africa managed to draw R1.2 trillion in investment through the fourth South Africa Investment Conference.
Analysts have described the country’s economic system as “producing jobless growth” and believe that even with upward financial progress within the medium time period, South Africa will nonetheless have an general unemployment determine of around 30%.
Youth unemployment is a global problem, much more acutely pronounced in South Africa, where the latest figures are sounding important alarm bells.
In late 2021, Stats SA reported that two out of each three younger individuals underneath the age of 35 in South Africa are unemployed. For the age cohort under 25, this rises to a few out of each 4, or a jarring 75%.
But in and amongst the dire unemployment statistics there are rays of light on tips on how to begin to successfully address this socio-economic crisis.
Education is key
According to the QLFS report, of the 7,9 million unemployed persons in the fourth quarter of 2021, as many as fifty one,6% had training ranges below matric.
This variety of unemployed drops the upper the education level. Those with a Matric cross constitute 38.6% of unemployed and this figure drops substantially for these with different tertiary qualifications (6.9%) and graduates who represent solely 2.4% of South Africa’s formal unemployed.
Astron Energy’s Organisational Capability, Learning and Development Manager Lindiwe Ncongwane said: “It is an usually repeated mantra that schooling is the key to success, but the labour pressure survey certainly bears this out.
“Education allied to alternative is the golden key to breaking this cycle of unemployment and to create a future for younger folks within the nation.”
Astron Energy, which operates South Africa’s second largest network of retail sites including the Caltex brand, runs numerous Youth Development Programmes masking both tutorial assist and office and experiential learning opportunities.
Astron Energy’s Youth Development Programmes include:
Graduate Internship Programme
According to Ncongwane, South African Corporates have a key role to play in offering opportunities for graduates and people with different qualifications to help scale back the variety of unemployed, and in addition to assist build a generation of employable younger people.
Recession-proof in coaching and abilities improvement, allied to education qualifications, will assist construct a workforce that’s multi-skilled and able to adapt to a multitude of duties and industries,” she stated.
The 2020 Future of Work report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) found that 50% of all employees will need reskilling by 2025 as adoption of know-how will increase.
The report also listed important considering and problem-solving as leading abilities employers believe might be wanted over the following 5 years, whereas newer tendencies centre on self-management skills similar to active studying, resilience, stress tolerance and suppleness.
According to Ncongwane, a key part of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip young individuals for the world of labor, not solely at Astron Energy and the petrochemical trade, but the throughout a variety of disciplines to enable them to be globally competitive.
The company additionally runs a quantity of school-level initiatives in the STEM space, however consistent with the 4th Industrial Revolution’s concentrate on the 3Cs of Communication, Critical thinking and Collaboration, has broadened this to STEAM – Science, Technology, Arts and Maths – in a bid to develop problem-solving and process-based studying.
The method forward
“As a country, we’ve to proceed investing in the training of our young individuals, notably within the crucial skills area, and then create opportunities for them to use these skills and develop in workplace environments,” Ncongwane said.
“As corporates we need to design a variety of programmes and initiatives to satisfy not solely the wants of the enterprise, but also the means forward for work – and critically the future employment potentialities for our younger individuals.
“If we do that proper, we can start changing the outlook on the employment entrance and ensure that financial growth has a tangible impression on the futures and livelihoods of the generations to return.”
In the Youth Development area, Astron Energy runs the following programmes:
8 X Learnerships in chemical operations at the Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton, Cape Town
20 X Learnerships in Sales and New Venture Creation at Johannesburg offices
The Learnerships run from 1 Oct 2021 – 30 Sep 2022
Astron Energy runs a full Bursary programme which covers both underneath graduate and publish graduate research, from 1st 12 months to Masters Level college students.
The bursaries embody tuition charges, lodging, books, meals, cash allowances and trip work within the type of internship/in-service-training throughout the company’s operations.
The programme started in 2020 and thus far over 440 college students have been funded.
There are presently 196 scholar bursars and 15 employee bursars as part of this programme. A total of 26 worker youngsters are a part of the bursary programme for 2022.
The bursary covers a spread of examine fields this yr including:
BSc: Chemical Engineering/ BSc: Industrial Engineering/ BSC: Property Studies/ Masters: Industrial Psychology/ Honours: Financial Accounting/ Bcom: Economics/ BSc: Electrical Engineering/ Bcom/BA: Human Resources Management/ Bcom: Information Technology/ Bcom: Internal Auditing/ Bcom: Logistics/ Occupational Health and Safety/ Bcom: Supply Chain/ BSc: Analytical Chemistry.
Astron Energy additionally presents successful bursars the chance to be part of the Astron Energy Graduate Training programme.
Astron Energy offers 24-month Apprenticeships in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and Instrumentation at the refinery in Cape Town. At present, the corporate has six apprenticeships in its manufacturing division.
Graduate Programme
The Graduate Internship Programme is run in accordance with the assorted disciplines required by the business and runs for a period of between 18-24 months. The present consumption of Graduate interns is set to end on 31 December 2022.
Astron Energy at present has seventy seven individuals in its Learnership, Apprenticeship and Graduate Internship programmes:
LogisticsGraduate Internship13
CFOGraduate Internship11
RetailGraduate Internship5
HRGraduate Internship3
C & IGraduate Internship2
CEOGraduate Internship2
ManufacturingGraduate Internship1
STOGraduate Internship3
Strategy Graduate Internship2
SHEQGraduate Internship1
ManufacturingChemical Operations Learnership8

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