Even as South Africa slowly emerges from the suffocating economic grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, just lately released employment statistics continue to make for grim reading, with practically eight million folks unemployed.
South Africa really recorded improved economic exercise in the fourth quarter of 2021, together with an expansion in real GDP of 1.2% in comparability with the previous quarter, but unemployment still reached report levels.
Denice Dumisa
According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), unemployment in Q4 final yr rose to 35.3% from 34.9% in the previous quarter. This is the highest stage for the reason that begin of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even extra alarmingly, the youth unemployment rate stood at a staggering 65.5%.
The newest employment information was launched on the end of March by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and got here just 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 financial system as “producing jobless growth” and believe that even with upward economic development within the medium term, South Africa will nonetheless have an overall unemployment figure of around 30%.
Youth unemployment is a global issue, even more acutely pronounced in South Africa, the place the latest figures are sounding crucial alarm bells.
In Reduced , Stats SA reported that two out of every three younger folks underneath the age of 35 in South Africa are unemployed. For the age cohort beneath 25, this rises to three out of every 4, or a jarring 75%.
But in and amongst Priceless there are rays of light on the means to start to successfully address 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 51,6% had schooling ranges under matric.
This variety of unemployed drops the upper the training level. Those with a Matric move represent 38.6% of unemployed and this figure drops substantially for these with different tertiary qualifications (6.9%) and graduates who constitute 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 training is the necessary thing to success, however the labour pressure survey actually bears this out.
“Education allied to alternative is the golden key to breaking this cycle of unemployment and to create a future for young folks in the country.”
Astron Energy, which operates South Africa’s second largest community of retail sites including the Caltex brand, runs a selection of Youth Development Programmes covering both tutorial support and workplace and experiential studying opportunities.
Astron Energy’s Youth Development Programmes embrace:
Graduate Internship Programme
According to Ncongwane, South African Corporates have a key function to play in offering opportunities for graduates and people with other qualifications to help reduce the number of unemployed, and likewise to help construct a generation of employable young individuals.
“Investments in training and expertise growth, allied to education qualifications, will assist build a workforce that’s multi-skilled and in a place to adapt to a mess of tasks and industries,” she stated.
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 increases.
The report also listed crucial thinking and problem-solving as main expertise employers consider might be wanted over the subsequent five years, whereas newer developments centre on self-management expertise corresponding to energetic learning, resilience, stress tolerance and adaptability.
According to Ncongwane, a key part of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip young individuals for the world of work, not solely at Astron Energy and the petrochemical business, but the across a range of disciplines to enable them to be globally aggressive.
The company additionally runs numerous school-level initiatives in the STEM house, but in line with the 4th Industrial Revolution’s focus on the 3Cs of Communication, Critical considering and Collaboration, has broadened this to STEAM – Science, Technology, Arts and Maths – in a bid to develop problem-solving and process-based learning.
The way forward
“As a country, we now have to continue investing within the schooling of our young folks, notably in the critical expertise space, and then create alternatives for them to use these expertise and develop in office environments,” Ncongwane mentioned.
“As corporates we have to design a range of programmes and initiatives to satisfy not only the wants of the enterprise, but additionally the future of work – and critically the long run employment potentialities for our younger people.
“If we do that right, we are in a position to begin altering the outlook on the employment entrance and be positive that economic growth has a tangible impression on the futures and livelihoods of the generations to come back.”
In the Youth Development house, Astron Energy runs the next 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 each beneath graduate and post graduate research, from 1st 12 months to Masters Level college students.
The bursaries embrace tuition fees, lodging, books, meals, money allowances and vacation work within the form of internship/in-service-training throughout the company’s operations.
The programme started in 2020 and to date over 440 college students have been funded.
There are at present 196 scholar bursars and 15 employee bursars as a half of this programme. A whole of 26 worker youngsters are part of the bursary programme for 2022.
The bursary covers a variety of research fields this year 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 also provides profitable bursars the opportunity to be part of the Astron Energy Graduate Training programme.
Astron Energy provides 24-month Apprenticeships in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and Instrumentation at the refinery in Cape Town. At current, the company has six apprenticeships in its manufacturing division.
Graduate Programme
The Graduate Internship Programme is run based on the assorted disciplines required by the enterprise and runs for a interval of between 18-24 months. The current consumption of Graduate interns is about to end on 31 December 2022.
Astron Energy at present 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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