There is no doubt that the vast discrepancy between those who have access to work opportunities and that who do not, is founded in the sheer number of unemployed and insufficiently educated youth in South Africa today. Caught in a vicious cycle of poverty, South Africa continues to perpetuate the outcome in which those who do not have access to education and training fall further and further behind in the race to Industry 4.0. The lack of funding means that the youth of today are landing themselves in a suffering job market ill-prepared education-wise and without work experience. The inability to gain work experience through job opportunities then takes us full circle to a place where the unemployed remains so, the economy is unable to sustain growth, meaning less and less people are qualified, for fewer and fewer jobs. Industry is moving at an exorbitant pace and will continue to exponentially widen the gap between those who can keep up with technology and that who cannot. As the gap widens, the deeper the poverty hole becomes.
Ultimately the country’s most dire need is to start to grow the economy in order to sustain jobs. This requires an altruistic mind-set on behalf of employers who understand that the downward spiral will not only not serve those who are left behind but will also not serve to grow businesses and the country’s economic outlook. Employers must show willing to do what it takes to find ways to change the general business mind-set surrounding skills development. The Yes for Youth initiative comes as the result of business CEO’s coming together to try to help government address the gap. And it comes as a concession to industry which will not only boost the scorecards of those who involve themselves, but will also go a long way to creating opportunities for young black people. The ethos, while shrouded in B-BBEE legislation is ultimately that chance for the country to save itself from itself. Those who complain that government expect so much of industry can take a new stance. If not industry, then who? Tax incentives, skills development grants, and the like can be used to assist companies with the enormous task ahead of them.
KZNEIA can assist with your Skills Development Plan and help you to receive some of the financial benefits which have been put in place to assist you when you invest in skills Development. Not only are you investing in skills development, but you are investing in the future of this country which has the ability and potential to not just grow, but to succeed and ultimately to thrive as a major contributor to the world economy. Take a step towards the future we all seek.