|Bring jobs back home, industry urged
By Tracy Burrows, ITWeb contributor.
Johannesburg, 5 Jun 2013
Knowledge solutions provider, EOH, has urged South African enterprises to bring work back into the country and help create jobs, in a bid to combat rampant unemployment.
Addressing the EOH Youth Job Creation Initiative executive forum in Sandton, EOH business development director, Brian Gubbins, noted that around 4.6 million people were unemployed in SA – nearly 75% of them youths.
He urged industry to stop offshoring work and to emulate the EOH model for youth job creation, which will see around 1 300 learnerships and internships created over two years.
The event outlined EOH’s successful job-creation initiative, with EOH offering the programme blueprint and assistance to other enterprises, in a bid to fast-track youth employment initiatives.
Gubbins said: “We have to turn the tide. Too many jobs are being moved offshore. These are the same jobs that local young people could easily be trained for. Offshoring is not cheaper and is simply solving other countries’ unemployment problems.”
Mobility by numbers
Gubbins pointed out that creating local jobs benefited the economy as a whole, as it also created more customers for enterprises.
A lack of experience is the biggest stumbling block in the way of young people finding work, Gubbins said. Through programmes such as EOH’s Youth Job Creation Initiative, youths could be given a year’s on-the-job experience, which significantly improved their chances of finding work in future.
Backing his assertion, Phindile Bukhali, one of EOH’s first interns, and now a permanent employee, said she battled to find work for several months after graduating. Being given the opportunity to prove herself through the EOH programme was a life-altering experience, she said.
Deadline for new WSPs and ATRs
Oupa Mopaki, CEO of the MCIT SETA, notes that 30 June is the deadline for submission of Workplace Skills Plans (WSPs) under the new guidelines published in the SETA Grant Regulations: Gazette Notice no. 35940. Among other things, the new guidelines seek to promote National Qualifications Framework (NQF)-registered and quality assured Pivotal programmes that address priority scarce and critical skills identified in sector skills plans. Mopaki noted that the government had facilitated significant support for skills development initiatives through the SETAs, tax incentives and other funds.
Other up-and-coming young businesspeople speaking at the event called on enterprise to step in and support youth skills development, noting that it made a significant difference to the individuals, and to others around them.
Themba Maseko, a risk manager and futures analyst at Absa Capital, said he found it difficult to secure work after completing his degree. Once one company had given him an opportunity, his career started taking off. “People just need to be given a chance,” he said.
Eddie Msibi, an investment banker at Investec Bank, told delegates he finished school with few prospects, but through the CIDA City Campus and the support it has from numerous enterprises, he not only graduated and secured promising employment, but was also able to support his mother in opening her own business – and she now employs eight people.
Leslie Sedibe, CEO of Proudly South African, said everyone had a role to play in addressing the country’s challenges. “We need to stimulate entrepreneurship and creativity; we need to support local industry, and we should not outsource work to the detriment of local people,” he urged. “Every R1 million invested in local manufacturing creates three sustainable jobs,” he said.