WHY YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES ARE CRITICAL TO THE SA SUCCESS STORY

Even as South Africa slowly emerges from the suffocating financial grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, recently launched employment statistics proceed to make for grim reading, with almost eight million people unemployed.
South Africa actually recorded improved economic exercise in the fourth quarter of 2021, together with an enlargement in actual GDP of 1.2% in comparison with the previous quarter, but unemployment nonetheless reached document levels.
Denice Dumisa
According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), unemployment in Q4 final 12 months rose to 35.3% from 34.9% within the previous quarter. This is the best stage since the begin of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even more alarmingly, the youth unemployment rate stood at a staggering sixty five.5%.
The newest employment data was launched on the end of March by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and got here simply days after South Africa managed to attract R1.2 trillion in investment through the fourth South Africa Investment Conference.
Analysts have described the country’s economy as “producing jobless growth” and believe that even with upward economic growth within the medium time period, South Africa will nonetheless have an total unemployment figure of around 30%.
Youth unemployment is a worldwide problem, even more acutely pronounced in South Africa, where the most recent figures are sounding important alarm bells.
In late 2021, Stats SA reported that two out of every three young individuals underneath the age of 35 in South Africa are unemployed. For the age cohort under 25, this rises to 3 out of each 4, or a jarring 75%.
But in and amongst the dire unemployment statistics there are rays of sunshine on tips on how to start to effectively tackle this socio-economic crisis.
Education is key
According to the QLFS report, of the 7,9 million unemployed individuals in the fourth quarter of 2021, as many as fifty one,6% had training levels beneath matric.
This number of unemployed drops the upper the education degree. Those with a Matric cross represent 38.6% of unemployed and this figure drops considerably for those with other tertiary qualifications (6.9%) and graduates who represent only 2.4% of South Africa’s formal unemployed.
Astron Energy’s Organisational Capability, Learning and Development Manager Lindiwe Ncongwane stated: “It is an often repeated mantra that schooling is the key to success, but the labour force survey actually bears this out.
“Education allied to opportunity is the golden key to breaking this cycle of unemployment and to create a future for younger individuals within the country.”
Astron Energy, which operates South Africa’s second largest community of retail websites together with the Caltex model, runs numerous Youth Development Programmes covering both academic support and office and experiential learning alternatives.
Astron Energy’s Youth Development Programmes embody:
Learnerships
Bursaries
Apprenticeships
In-Service-Training
Graduate Internship Programme
Opportunities
According to Ncongwane, South African Corporates have a key function to play in providing alternatives for graduates and those with different qualifications to help scale back the number of unemployed, and also to help construct a technology of employable young folks.
“Investments in training and skills development, allied to education qualifications, will assist construct a workforce that is multi-skilled and capable of adapt to a giant number of tasks and industries,” she said.
The 2020 Future of Work report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) found that 50% of all employees will want reskilling by 2025 as adoption of know-how increases.
The report also listed important pondering and problem-solving as main expertise employers consider shall be needed over the subsequent 5 years, whereas newer tendencies centre on self-management skills such as energetic studying, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.
According to Ncongwane, a key part of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip younger individuals for the world of work, not only at Astron Energy and the petrochemical business, but the across a spread of disciplines to enable them to be globally aggressive.
The company additionally runs numerous school-level initiatives within the STEM space, but according to the 4th Industrial Revolution’s focus on the 3Cs of Communication, Critical pondering and Collaboration, has broadened this to STEAM – Science, Technology, Arts and Maths – in a bid to develop problem-solving and process-based studying.
The way ahead
“As a country, we have to continue investing in the education of our younger individuals, significantly in the critical expertise house, after which create opportunities for them to apply these skills and develop in workplace environments,” Ncongwane said.
“As corporates we have to design a range of programmes and initiatives to fulfill not only the needs of the business, but also the future of work – and critically the longer term employment prospects for our younger individuals.
“If we do this proper, we can start altering the outlook on the employment entrance and ensure that financial progress has a tangible impact on the futures and livelihoods of the generations to come.”
In the Youth Development area, Astron Energy runs the following programmes:
Learnerships
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
Bursaries
Astron Energy runs a full Bursary programme which covers each under graduate and publish graduate studies, from 1st year to Masters Level college students.
The bursaries include tuition fees, lodging, books, meals, money allowances and trip work in the form of internship/in-service-training throughout the company’s operations.
The programme began in 2020 and to date over 440 students have been funded.
There are at present 196 pupil bursars and 15 worker bursars as a half of this programme. A complete of 26 worker children are part of the bursary programme for 2022.
The bursary covers a range of examine fields this yr together with:
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 also provides profitable bursars the opportunity to be a half of the Astron Energy Graduate Training programme.
Secret presents 24-month Apprenticeships in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and Instrumentation at the refinery in Cape Town. At present, the company has six apprenticeships in its manufacturing division.
Graduate Programme
The Graduate Internship Programme is run according to the varied disciplines required by the business and runs for a period of between 18-24 months. Accredited of Graduate interns is about to end on 31 December 2022.
Infographic
Astron Energy at present has 77 participants in its Learnership, Apprenticeship and Graduate Internship programmes:
LogisticsGraduate Internship13
CFOGraduate Internship11
RetailGraduate Internship5
HRGraduate Internship3
HRLearnership20
C & IGraduate Internship2
CEOGraduate Internship2
ManufacturingGraduate Internship1
STOGraduate Internship3
Strategy Graduate Internship2
SHEQGraduate Internship1
ManufacturingApprentice6
ManufacturingChemical Operations Learnership8
Total77
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