South Africa is 25 years into its democracy, yet the youth graduate unemployment rate, under the age of 24, sits at a staggering 31%. The South African Council for Graduates Cooperative (SACGC) database has about 30 000 unemployed graduates from various institutions of higher education.
On YFM’s #YMornings Round Table Talks (#RTT) with DJ Ankletap, a discussion on the public and private sector working hand-in-hand to pull the youth out of the unemployment slump, unfolded.
The Nedbank foundation in partnership with the Nicholas Bhengu Foundation and TETA, has tasked themselves to equip young graduates with employability skills. They are also linking them to employment opportunities with identified companies.
Graduates would ‘hit a brick wall’ when looking for employment due to the fact they would often lack the “3 years experience” that companies require or because they have not attained necessary basic workplace skills. The Work Readiness Programme put in place by the foundations is aimed at helping graduates eliminate any possible obstacles they may face when looking for employment.
“Bear in mind that graduating from university is (often mostly) theory-based and (encompasses) all the technical (but not enough practical) stuff. There are other softer skills that our graduates are not afforded.”
– Lindiwe Themba, Executive Head of Nedbank Foundation, highlights fundamental qualities needed in the workplace.
The government is constantly questioned for its plan to alleviate unemployment but the question has also been turned onto the private sector, one which the Nedbank and Nicholas Bhengu foundation attempt to answer.
“For the first phase of our programme, we had 200 graduates, of which 85% of them were employed by the end of the programme.”
– Ursula Bhengu , CEO of Nicholas Bhengu Foundation.
Not only that, but the success of this programme rose to 88% of 300 graduates in its second phase. Such stats dim negative public-private sector partnership myths. Hlayiseka Cossa, a graduate that was successfully employed through the programme, elaborated on how easy it was for him to apply.
Simon Nkukwana, CFO of TETA urged companies and sectors to add to this pool of employment opportunities.
For more on this #RTT discussion and the opportunities afforded to young graduates, Listen here:
Written by: Y