Even as South Africa slowly emerges from the suffocating economic grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, lately released employment statistics proceed to make for grim reading, with almost eight million people unemployed.
South Africa actually recorded improved economic activity in the fourth quarter of 2021, including an expansion in real GDP of 1.2% in comparison with the earlier quarter, but unemployment still reached report levels.
Denice Dumisa
According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), unemployment in Q4 last 12 months rose to 35.3% from 34.9% within the previous quarter. This is the very best level because the start of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even more alarmingly, the youth unemployment price stood at a staggering 65.5%.
The newest employment information was launched at 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 funding through the fourth South Africa Investment Conference.
Analysts have described the country’s economy as “producing jobless growth” and believe that even with upward financial development in the medium term, South Africa will nonetheless have an overall unemployment determine of around 30%.
Youth unemployment is a world concern, even 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 every three young individuals beneath the age of 35 in South Africa are unemployed. For the age cohort underneath 25, this rises to three 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 effectively address this socio-economic crisis.
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 training ranges beneath matric.
This variety of unemployed drops the higher the education level. Those with a Matric move represent 38.6% of unemployed and this figure drops considerably for these with different 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 typically repeated mantra that schooling is the necessary thing to success, however the labour drive 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 younger individuals in the country.”
Astron Energy, which operates South Africa’s second largest community of retail sites together with the Caltex model, runs a quantity of Youth Development Programmes overlaying each tutorial help and workplace and experiential studying opportunities.
Astron Energy’s Youth Development Programmes include:
Graduate Internship Programme
According to Ncongwane, South African Corporates have a key position to play in providing alternatives for graduates and people with other qualifications to assist scale back the number of unemployed, and in addition to assist construct a era of employable younger individuals.
“Investments in training and abilities growth, allied to schooling qualifications, will help build a workforce that’s multi-skilled and in a place to adapt to a giant number of duties and industries,” she said.
The 2020 Future of Work report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) discovered that 50% of all staff will want reskilling by 2025 as adoption of expertise will increase.
The report also listed important considering and problem-solving as main abilities employers imagine will be wanted over the following five years, whereas newer trends centre on self-management skills corresponding to lively studying, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.
According to Ncongwane, a key part of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip younger folks for the world of labor, not only at Astron Energy and the petrochemical trade, but the across a range of disciplines to allow them to be globally aggressive.
The company also runs a quantity of school-level initiatives within the STEM house, but in line with the 4th Industrial Revolution’s concentrate 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 means ahead
“As a country, we now have to continue investing within the training of our younger individuals, significantly within the critical expertise house, and then create alternatives for them to apply these abilities and develop in workplace environments,” Ncongwane mentioned.
“As corporates we have to design a variety of programmes and initiatives to fulfill not solely the needs of the business, but additionally the method forward for work – and critically the lengthy run employment prospects for our younger folks.
“If we do that right, we are able to start altering the outlook on the employment entrance and be positive that financial progress has a tangible influence on the futures and livelihoods of the generations to return.”
In the Youth Development house, 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 under graduate and post graduate studies, from 1st 12 months to Masters Level students.
The bursaries include tuition fees, accommodation, books, meals, money allowances and vacation work in the type of internship/in-service-training inside the company’s operations.
The programme began in 2020 and to date over 440 students have been funded.
There are currently 196 student bursars and 15 worker 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 spread of study 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 additionally provides successful 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 เกจวัดแรงดันถังลม , 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 business and runs for a period of between 18-24 months. The current intake of Graduate interns is ready to finish on 31 December 2022.
Astron Energy presently has seventy seven members 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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