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 practically eight million folks unemployed.
South Africa really recorded improved economic exercise in the fourth quarter of 2021, together with an growth in real GDP of 1.2% compared to the earlier quarter, but unemployment still reached record ranges.
Denice Dumisa
According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), unemployment in Q4 final yr rose to 35.3% from 34.9% within the previous quarter. This is the very best level for the reason that begin of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even extra alarmingly, the youth unemployment fee stood at a staggering sixty five.5%.
The newest employment knowledge was launched 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 funding during the fourth South Africa Investment Conference.
Analysts have described the country’s economic system as “producing jobless growth” and consider that even with upward financial growth in the medium time period, South Africa will nonetheless have an overall unemployment figure of around 30%.
Youth unemployment is a worldwide problem, even more acutely pronounced in South Africa, where the latest figures are sounding critical alarm bells.
In late 2021, Stats SA reported that two out of every three young individuals under the age of 35 in South Africa are unemployed. For the age cohort beneath 25, this rises to 3 out of each four, or a jarring 75%.
But in and amongst the dire unemployment statistics there are rays of sunshine on the way to start to effectively tackle this socio-economic disaster.
Education is key
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 education levels below matric.
This number of unemployed drops the higher the training stage. Those with a Matric pass constitute 38.6% of unemployed and this figure drops substantially for those with different tertiary qualifications (6.9%) and graduates who constitute solely 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 vital thing to success, however the labour pressure survey actually bears this out.
xp2i allied to opportunity is the golden key to breaking this cycle of unemployment and to create a future for younger people within the nation.”
Astron Energy, which operates South Africa’s second largest community of retail sites including the Caltex model, runs a selection of Youth Development Programmes masking each educational help and office and experiential learning 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 scale back the variety of unemployed, and likewise to assist build a technology of employable younger people.
“Investments in coaching and abilities growth, allied to schooling qualifications, will assist construct a workforce that’s multi-skilled and capable of adapt to a mess of tasks and industries,” she said.
The 2020 Future of Work report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) discovered that 50% of all workers will need reskilling by 2025 as adoption of expertise will increase.
The report also listed important considering and problem-solving as leading skills employers imagine shall be needed over the subsequent 5 years, while newer developments centre on self-management abilities similar to active studying, resilience, stress tolerance and suppleness.
According to Ncongwane, a key part of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip younger people for the world of work, not only at Astron Energy and the petrochemical trade, but the across a variety of disciplines to enable them to be globally aggressive.
The company additionally runs numerous school-level initiatives in the STEM house, but consistent 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 forward
“As a country, we now have to continue investing within the training of our young folks, significantly within the critical expertise space, after which create opportunities for them to apply these expertise and develop in office environments,” Ncongwane mentioned.
“As corporates we want to design a spread of programmes and initiatives to meet not solely the wants of the enterprise, but also the future of work – and critically the longer term employment potentialities for our younger people.
“If we do this right, we will start altering the outlook on the employment entrance and ensure that economic growth has a tangible impact on the futures and livelihoods of the generations to come back.”
In the Youth Development space, Astron Energy runs the following 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 workplaces
The Learnerships run from 1 Oct 2021 – 30 Sep 2022
Astron Energy runs a full Bursary programme which covers each beneath graduate and publish graduate studies, from 1st 12 months to Masters Level students.
The bursaries embody tuition fees, lodging, books, meals, cash allowances and trip work in the form of internship/in-service-training inside the company’s operations.
The programme began in 2020 and to date over 440 college students have been funded.
There are presently 196 student bursars and 15 worker bursars as a half of this programme. A complete of 26 worker youngsters are a part of the bursary programme for 2022.
The bursary covers a variety of research fields this 12 months together with:
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 offers profitable bursars the chance to be a half of the Astron Energy Graduate Training programme.
Astron Energy presents 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 in accordance with the assorted disciplines required by the business and runs for a interval of between 18-24 months. The current intake of Graduate interns is about to finish on 31 December 2022.
Astron Energy presently 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