Even as South Africa slowly emerges from the suffocating economic grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, lately launched employment statistics proceed to make for grim studying, with nearly eight million people unemployed.
South Africa actually recorded improved economic activity within the fourth quarter of 2021, together with an enlargement in real GDP of 1.2% in comparison with the previous quarter, but unemployment nonetheless reached report ranges.
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 earlier quarter. This is the highest stage for the reason that start of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even extra alarmingly, the youth unemployment fee stood at a staggering sixty five.5%.
The latest employment knowledge was launched on the finish of March by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and got here just days after South Africa managed to draw R1.2 trillion in investment in the course of the fourth South Africa Investment Conference.
Analysts have described the country’s financial system as “producing jobless growth” and imagine that even with upward financial growth in the medium term, South Africa will still have an overall unemployment determine of around 30%.
Youth unemployment is a world problem, even more acutely pronounced in South Africa, the place the most recent figures are sounding important alarm bells.
In late 2021, Stats SA reported that two out of every three young folks beneath the age of 35 in South Africa are unemployed. For the age cohort under 25, this rises to 3 out of every 4, or a jarring 75%.
But in and amongst the dire unemployment statistics there are rays of light on how to begin to successfully address this socio-economic disaster.
Education is essential
According to the QLFS report, of the 7,9 million unemployed individuals within the fourth quarter of 2021, as many as 51,6% had schooling ranges beneath matric.
This number of unemployed drops the higher the schooling level. Those with a Matric move represent 38.6% of unemployed and this determine drops substantially for those with different tertiary qualifications (6.9%) and graduates who represent only 2.4% of South Africa’s formal unemployed.
pressure gauge ลม ’s Organisational Capability, Learning and Development Manager Lindiwe Ncongwane said: “It is an often repeated mantra that schooling is the vital thing to success, however the labour pressure survey certainly bears this out.
“Education allied to opportunity is the golden key to breaking this cycle of unemployment and to create a future for young people within the country.”
Astron Energy, which operates South Africa’s second largest network of retail sites together with the Caltex model, runs a selection of Youth Development Programmes covering both tutorial assist and workplace and experiential learning opportunities.
Astron Energy’s Youth Development Programmes embrace:
Graduate Internship Programme
According to Ncongwane, South African Corporates have a key position to play in providing alternatives for graduates and those with different qualifications to assist scale back the number of unemployed, and also to assist build a generation of employable younger people.
“Investments in training and skills development, allied to schooling qualifications, will help construct a workforce that’s multi-skilled and in a position to adapt to a mess of duties and industries,” she mentioned.
The 2020 Future of Work report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) discovered that 50% of all employees will want reskilling by 2025 as adoption of technology will increase.
The report also listed critical thinking and problem-solving as main abilities employers consider will be needed over the following 5 years, whereas newer trends centre on self-management abilities corresponding to energetic learning, resilience, stress tolerance and suppleness.
According to Ncongwane, a key a part of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip young folks for the world of labor, not only at Astron Energy and the petrochemical industry, however the throughout a spread of disciplines to enable them to be globally aggressive.
The firm additionally runs a variety of school-level initiatives in the STEM space, but in line with 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 learning.
The means ahead
“As a rustic, we’ve to proceed investing in the training of our younger individuals, significantly within the important skills house, after which create opportunities for them to apply these skills and develop in office environments,” Ncongwane stated.
“As corporates we have to design a range of programmes and initiatives to satisfy not solely the wants of the enterprise, but in addition the future of work – and critically the future employment prospects for our younger people.
“If we do this proper, we are able to start changing the outlook on the employment front and make sure that financial progress has a tangible impact on the futures and livelihoods of the generations to come.”
In the Youth Development house, Astron Energy runs the following programmes:
8 X Learnerships in chemical operations on the Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton, Cape Town
20 X Learnerships in Sales and New Venture Creation at Johannesburg places of work
The Learnerships run from 1 Oct 2021 – 30 Sep 2022
Astron Energy runs a full Bursary programme which covers both underneath graduate and post graduate research, from 1st yr to Masters Level college students.
The bursaries include tuition fees, accommodation, books, meals, cash allowances and trip work within the type of internship/in-service-training throughout the company’s operations.
The programme began in 2020 and thus far over 440 college students have been funded.
There are at present 196 pupil bursars and 15 employee bursars as part of this programme. A total of 26 employee youngsters are part of the bursary programme for 2022.
The bursary covers a range of study fields this year 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 offers profitable bursars the opportunity to be part of the Astron Energy Graduate Training programme.
Astron Energy offers 24-month Apprenticeships in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and Instrumentation on the refinery in Cape Town. At current, the corporate has six apprenticeships in its manufacturing division.
Graduate Programme
The Graduate Internship Programme is run based on the assorted disciplines required by the business and runs for a interval of between 18-24 months. The current intake of Graduate interns is set to end on 31 December 2022.
Astron Energy currently has 77 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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