Youth unemployment rates within South Africa are high – one only needs to drive down a main road to get a rude awakening of that fact; the corners are scattered with desperate individuals simply looking for a way to make a living.
Now, even university graduates are holding up placards asking for jobs. The stats are shocking; among an estimated five million South Africans living without a job, 170 000 hold a university degree. What’s causing the career light at the end of the university tunnel to fade? Most often it’s that, even with a degree, graduates lack the hands-on skills they need to get ahead.
It has left job seekers demotivated as they lose hope in their industries. And that’s why businesses are feeling the pressure to train the young minds of our country.
A business’s moral duty
We’re currently sitting on a largely untapped pool of valuable resources that has the potential to drive economic change. Businesses need to focus on finding ways to upskill what is largely the previously disadvantaged portion of the population as a way to empower future jobseekers to find employment.
Businesses, with their specific resources, expertise and repositories unique to their field, must make it their moral duty to provide young minds with the right training to enter the job market. By using their areas of expertise, these companies must ensure that they enable jobseekers – particularly those who have been largely neglected by HR departments in the past – to learn the hard- and soft-skills needed to thrive in their career.
Doom and gloom, no more
Seven years ago Aptronics launched its learnership program with the objective of empowering the previously disadvantaged population of South Africa. Now they’re extending their passion for upliftment to the disabled community. Their newly implemented learnership project is aimed at taking pressure off of job hunters in the ICT sector with disabilities.
Aptronics wants to give unemployed people with disabilities the opportunity to be placed in various learnership projects within the organisation; opening their eyes to numerous departments within the business, in order to gain relevant hands-on experience.
The programme, which has taken on 70 students over the past seven years, is aimed at young learners and potential leaders who want to build self-awareness, gain insight, and ignite passion and purpose within themselves, their teams and the organisations they serve. With important life skills and work preparation training which includes business etiquette, budgeting and time keeping, entrepreneurs and those passionate about business have the perfect base from which to start their journey to success in South Africa’s workforce. One of the programmes Aptronics runs is the 48573: IT System Support IT Solutions Expert MCSA NQF5 including different modules and exams which hold international certification recognition.
Aptronics seeks to make a positive impact by focusing on initiatives that support communities, thereby contributing to the success of future generations. Education and critical skills shortages are key areas that need to be addressed by both country and the ICT sector.
Manamane Pheme, who hails from the small town of Lebowakgomo in Limpopo, is one of the individuals whose life has been changed by the learnership program. “My journey from a learner to a permanent staff member has been both interesting and challenging. I was interested in the business side of IT and was given the opportunity to be an internal sales consultant where I got to interact with customers and, most importantly, to work within a team,” Manamane explains. Similarly, Bhavin Bhaga, a Network Support Engineer at Aptronics who comes from Azaadville, explains how the learnership programme has changed his life drastically. “It has been a really big growth curve for me regarding my career in IT and I have gained a lot of IT networking experience, a field I have always been interested in and passionate about,” he says.
For more information on Aptronics’ learnership programme or to get in touch, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.