Even as South Africa slowly emerges from the suffocating economic grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, recently released employment statistics proceed to make for grim reading, with practically eight million folks unemployed.
South Africa truly recorded improved economic activity within the fourth quarter of 2021, including an growth in real GDP of 1.2% in comparison with the earlier quarter, but unemployment still 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 earlier quarter. This is the highest degree since the begin of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even more alarmingly, the youth unemployment fee stood at a staggering 65.5%.
The latest employment knowledge was released at the finish of March by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and came just days after South Africa managed to draw 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 consider that even with upward financial growth in the medium term, South Africa will nonetheless have an general unemployment determine of around 30%.
Youth unemployment is a worldwide problem, much 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 each three young people underneath the age of 35 in South Africa are unemployed. For the age cohort under 25, this rises to a few out of every four, or a jarring 75%.
But in and amongst the dire unemployment statistics there are rays of sunshine on how to start to effectively handle this socio-economic crisis.
Education is vital
According to the QLFS report, of the 7,9 million unemployed persons in the fourth quarter of 2021, as many as fifty one,6% had schooling levels beneath matric.
This number of unemployed drops the upper the education stage. Those with a Matric pass constitute 38.6% of unemployed and this figure 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 said: “It is an often repeated mantra that education is the important thing to success, however the labour force survey certainly 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 within the country.”
Astron Energy, which operates South Africa’s second largest community of retail websites together with the Caltex brand, runs numerous Youth Development Programmes masking each educational support and workplace and experiential learning alternatives.
Astron Energy’s Youth Development Programmes embody:
Graduate Internship Programme
According to Ncongwane, South African Corporates have a key position to play in providing opportunities for graduates and those with other qualifications to assist cut back the variety of unemployed, and likewise to assist build a generation of employable younger folks.
pressure gauge ไฮ ด รอ ลิ ค in training and skills improvement, allied to training qualifications, will assist build a workforce that is multi-skilled and in a place to adapt to a multitude of duties and industries,” she stated.
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 expertise increases.
The report also listed critical thinking and problem-solving as leading abilities employers believe will be wanted over the following five years, whereas newer developments centre on self-management skills corresponding to active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and suppleness.
According to Ncongwane, a key part of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip young individuals for the world of work, not only at Astron Energy and the petrochemical business, however the across a variety of disciplines to allow them to be globally aggressive.
The firm also runs a quantity of school-level initiatives in the STEM house, however consistent with the 4th Industrial Revolution’s give attention to 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 studying.
The method forward
“As a country, we now have to continue investing in the training of our young individuals, significantly within the important abilities area, after which create opportunities for them to use these abilities and develop in workplace environments,” Ncongwane said.
“As corporates we want to design a spread of programmes and initiatives to satisfy not solely the wants of the business, but also the way forward for work – and critically the future employment prospects for our younger individuals.
“If we do this proper, we are ready to start altering the outlook on the employment entrance and be certain that economic progress has a tangible impression on the futures and livelihoods of the generations to return.”
In the Youth Development house, Astron Energy runs the next programmes:
eight 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 each beneath graduate and submit graduate studies, from 1st year to Masters Level students.
The bursaries embrace tuition charges, accommodation, books, meals, money allowances and trip work in the type of internship/in-service-training throughout the company’s operations.
The programme began in 2020 and thus far over 440 students have been funded.
There are currently 196 student bursars and 15 worker bursars as part of this programme. A total of 26 worker children are part of the bursary programme for 2022.
The bursary covers a spread of research fields this 12 months 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 presents successful bursars the chance to be a half 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 according to the varied disciplines required by the business and runs for a period of between 18-24 months. The current consumption of Graduate interns is set to finish on 31 December 2022.
Astron Energy at present has 77 participants 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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