WHY YOUTH DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMMES ARE CRITICAL TO THE SA SUCCESS STORY

Even as South Africa slowly emerges from the suffocating financial grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, recently launched employment statistics continue to make for grim reading, with nearly eight million individuals unemployed.
South Africa truly recorded improved economic exercise in the fourth quarter of 2021, together with an growth in actual GDP of 1.2% compared to the previous quarter, but unemployment nonetheless reached record levels.
Denice Dumisa
According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), unemployment in Q4 final 12 months rose to 35.3% from 34.9% in the earlier quarter. This is the best level since the begin of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even more alarmingly, the youth unemployment price stood at a staggering 65.5%.
The latest employment data was launched on the end of March by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and came just days after South Africa managed to attract 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 consider that even with upward economic progress within the medium term, South Africa will nonetheless have an general unemployment figure of round 30%.
Youth unemployment is a world concern, much more acutely pronounced in South Africa, the place the most recent figures are sounding critical alarm bells.
In late 2021, Stats SA reported that two out of each three young individuals underneath the age of 35 in South Africa are unemployed. For the age cohort under 25, this rises to 3 out of each four, or a jarring 75%.
But in and amongst Unusual there are rays of light on how to start to successfully tackle this socio-economic crisis.
Education is vital
According to the QLFS report, of the 7,9 million unemployed individuals in the fourth quarter of 2021, as many as 51,6% had education levels beneath matric.
This variety of unemployed drops the upper the schooling degree. Those with a Matric cross constitute 38.6% of unemployed and this determine drops considerably for these with other tertiary qualifications (6.9%) and graduates who represent solely 2.4% of South Africa’s formal unemployed.
Astron Energy’s Organisational Capability, Learning and Development Manager Lindiwe Ncongwane said: “It is an usually repeated mantra that education is the key to success, however the labour drive survey actually bears this out.
“Education allied to opportunity 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 number of Youth Development Programmes masking each educational assist and office and experiential learning alternatives.
Astron Energy’s Youth Development Programmes embody:
Learnerships
Bursaries
Apprenticeships
In-Service-Training
Graduate Internship Programme
Opportunities
According to Ncongwane, South African Corporates have a key role to play in offering opportunities for graduates and those with other qualifications to assist reduce the number of unemployed, and likewise to help construct a technology of employable young folks.
“Investments in training and skills growth, allied to education qualifications, will help build a workforce that is multi-skilled and able to adapt to a massive number of tasks and industries,” she said.
The 2020 Future of Work report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) found that 50% of all workers will need reskilling by 2025 as adoption of know-how increases.
The report additionally listed critical thinking and problem-solving as main skills employers imagine will be wanted over the subsequent five years, while newer developments centre on self-management skills corresponding to active studying, resilience, stress tolerance and suppleness.
According to Ncongwane, a key a part of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip younger folks for the world of work, not solely at Astron Energy and the petrochemical business, however the throughout a spread of disciplines to enable them to be globally competitive.
The firm additionally runs numerous school-level initiatives in the STEM area, but in line with the 4th Industrial Revolution’s concentrate on the 3Cs of Communication, Critical thinking 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 rustic, we’ve to continue investing in the training of our younger people, notably within the critical skills area, and then create alternatives for them to apply these abilities and develop in workplace environments,” Ncongwane said.
“As corporates we have to design a variety of programmes and initiatives to fulfill not only the wants of the enterprise, but additionally the future of work – and critically the longer term employment prospects for our young folks.
“If we do this proper, we will begin altering the outlook on the employment front and ensure that financial progress has a tangible influence on the futures and livelihoods of the generations to come back.”
In the Youth Development house, Astron Energy runs the next programmes:
Learnerships
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 offices
The Learnerships run from 1 Oct 2021 – 30 Sep 2022
Bursaries
Astron Energy runs a full Bursary programme which covers both beneath graduate and post graduate research, from 1st 12 months to Masters Level college students.
The bursaries embody tuition charges, lodging, books, meals, cash allowances and trip work within the type of internship/in-service-training within the company’s operations.
The programme started in 2020 and thus far over 440 college students have been funded.
There are at present 196 scholar bursars and 15 worker bursars as part of this programme. A whole of 26 worker children are a part of the bursary programme for 2022.
The bursary covers a variety of study 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 also provides successful bursars the opportunity to be part of the Astron Energy Graduate Training programme.
Apprenticeships
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 assorted disciplines required by the business and runs for a period of between 18-24 months. The present consumption of Graduate interns is about to finish on 31 December 2022.
Infographic
Astron Energy presently has seventy seven members in its Learnership, Apprenticeship and Graduate Internship programmes:
LogisticsGraduate Internship13
CFOGraduate Internship11
RetailGraduate Internship5
HRGraduate Internship3
HRLearnership20
C & IGraduate Internship2
CEOGraduate Internship2
ManufacturingGraduate Internship1
STOGraduate Internship3
Strategy Graduate Internship2
SHEQGraduate Internship1
ManufacturingApprentice6
ManufacturingChemical Operations Learnership8
Total77
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