South Africa’s unemployment rate has hit an all-time high of 27.7%, dampening prospects of young people wishing to enter the labour market. According to Trading Economics, as many as 50.9% of those unemployed are young people, which means that all stakeholders in the economy need to work together to urgently find a solution as global studies predicts that over the next decade, a billion more young people will enter the job market translating into nearly 600 million new jobs needing to be created just to stay current with youth employment rates.
To help address these kinds of issues, Accenture and Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs), have partnered to create a global movement that brings social change through the use of ICT solutions. Their aim is to help disadvantaged young people build the skills and confidence required to find sustainable employment.
Khethiwe Nkuna, Corporate Citizenship Lead at Accenture says, “As we commemorate youth month, youth unemployment remains a national as well as global challenge. Creating sustainable employment opportunities for young people demands collaboration across organisations and sectors. Our Skills to Succeed initiative is an excellent example that addresses the need to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the youth.”
Through this initiative, Accenture and RLabs have equipped over 4 000 disadvantaged youth with ICT skills, one of which is 19 year old Thembeka George from Free State. She had no money to pursue her studies, until her mother’s employer told her about RLabs.
Nkuna says, “Thembeka applied and was granted a scholarship to study coding. She knew that she had to get a job after completing her studies and it was while she was trying to put her CV together that she found a way to help young people, similar to her in age and background and who don’t have the resources or the know-how, by creating an app that helps them create their own CVs. Thembeka now works as a programmer for a global technology company, is refining her app and is in the process of starting her own business.
“Sadly, unemployment among young people endangers entire economies and societies. It spawns inequality, spurs social tension, and leads to deterioration of youth’s emotional, mental as well as physical health. With the Skills to Succeed programme we have initiatives in place to tackle the problem now.
“More can be done through partnerships across organisations and sectors so that we make every future count and lead in the new corporate social responsibility,” concludes Nkuna.
Go to: https://youtu.be/qGPCT-DV2a8 to see Thembeka’s story.