Even as South Africa slowly emerges from the suffocating financial grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, just lately launched employment statistics continue to make for grim studying, with almost eight million individuals unemployed.
South Africa truly recorded improved economic activity within the fourth quarter of 2021, together with an growth in real GDP of 1.2% in comparison with the earlier quarter, but unemployment nonetheless reached document ranges.
Denice Dumisa
According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), unemployment in Q4 last yr rose to 35.3% from 34.9% in the earlier quarter. This is the highest stage for the rationale that start of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even extra alarmingly, the youth unemployment rate stood at a staggering 65.5%.
The latest employment information was released at the finish of March by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and got here just days after South Africa managed to attract R1.2 trillion in investment during the fourth South Africa Investment Conference.
Analysts have described the country’s financial system as “producing jobless growth” and believe that even with upward financial growth in the medium time period, South Africa will nonetheless have an general unemployment determine of round 30%.
Youth unemployment is a global concern, 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 each three younger people underneath the age of 35 in South Africa are unemployed. For the age cohort beneath 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 light on the way to begin to effectively handle this socio-economic crisis.
Education is vital
According to the QLFS report, of the 7,9 million unemployed individuals within the fourth quarter of 2021, as many as fifty one,6% had schooling ranges beneath matric.
This number of unemployed drops the upper the education level. Those with a Matric move constitute 38.6% of unemployed and this determine drops substantially 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 training is the key to success, but 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 young folks within the nation.”
Astron Energy, which operates South Africa’s second largest network of retail sites together with the Caltex brand, runs a variety of Youth Development Programmes covering each educational assist and office and experiential studying opportunities.
Piece of cake ’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 people with other qualifications to assist reduce the number of unemployed, and likewise to assist build a generation of employable younger people.
“Investments in coaching and skills improvement, allied to education qualifications, will assist build a workforce that’s multi-skilled and able 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 workers will want reskilling by 2025 as adoption of know-how increases.
The report additionally listed crucial thinking and problem-solving as leading skills employers imagine might be wanted over the following five years, whereas newer developments centre on self-management expertise similar to lively learning, resilience, stress tolerance and adaptability.
According to Ncongwane, a key part of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip younger folks for the world of work, not solely at Astron Energy and the petrochemical industry, but the throughout a range of disciplines to enable them to be globally aggressive.
The company additionally runs numerous school-level initiatives in the STEM area, but in line with the 4th Industrial Revolution’s give consideration to 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 method forward
“As a rustic, we have to proceed investing within the education of our young people, significantly within the important skills space, and then create alternatives for them to use these abilities and develop in workplace environments,” Ncongwane said.
“As corporates we have to design a variety of programmes and initiatives to satisfy not only the wants of the enterprise, but in addition the future of work – and critically the long run employment prospects for our young individuals.
“If we do this proper, we can 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 area, Astron Energy runs the next programmes:
eight 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 workplaces
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 yr to Masters Level students.
The bursaries include tuition charges, lodging, books, meals, money allowances and trip work within the form of internship/in-service-training inside the company’s operations.
The programme began in 2020 and thus far over 440 college students have been funded.
There are at present 196 student bursars and 15 employee bursars as a half of this programme. A whole of 26 worker children are part of the bursary programme for 2022.
The bursary covers a variety 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 also presents successful bursars the chance to be a 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 current, the corporate has six apprenticeships in its manufacturing division.
Graduate Programme
The Graduate Internship Programme is run based on the various disciplines required by the enterprise and runs for a interval of between 18-24 months. The present intake of Graduate interns is set to end on 31 December 2022.
Astron Energy currently 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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