Sustainable employment opportunities for young people demand collaboration across organisations and sectors
The Statistics SA's Quarterly Labour Force survey states that unemployment rate remained at 26.5 percent in the last quarter of 2016. Trading Economics suggests that 50.9 percent of those are young people. In a bid to help reduce these statistics, Accenture and Reconstructed Living Lab (RLabs) are working together to help disadvantaged young people build skills and confidence required to find and sustain employment.
According to Khethiwe Nkuna, Corporate Citizenship Lead at Accenture, creating sustainable employment opportunities for young people demands collaboration across organisations and sectors. “Our Skills to Succeed initiative is an excellent example of this collaboration that addresses the need to create employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for the youth.”
“Through the initiative, we have equipped over 4000 disadvantaged youth with ICT skills, and successfully placed 85 percent of them into digital, software development and business process services jobs. By the end of fiscal 2020, we will provide more than three million people—not only in South Africa but around the world—with the skills needed to get a job or build a business,” said Nkuna.
One of the inspiring stories from the Accenture and RLabs partnership is Thembeka George’s story of struggle and determination. A 19-year old from the Free State used to travel for three hours a day in order to improve her knowledge to become a better person in life. Surviving on her grandparents’ pension which was not a lot, Thembeka left for Cape Town to live with her mother with a hope of securing a study or job opportunity—but finance remained her key challenge.
Her mother’s employer told her about RLabs, a global movement—sponsored by Accenture—that brings a social change through the use of ICT solutions. She applied and was granted a scholarship to study programming. Thembeka was aware that she had to get a job after completing her studies, and youth of her age and background do not have CVs—many don’t know how to create one. She decided to create an app that will create CVs for her peers and make their lives easier.
Today, Thembeka is working as a programmer for one of the global technology company. She is also refining her app and in a process of starting her own business.
Youth unemployment is not only a national challenge but a global one. The world has a record number of young people as many as 1.8 billion, and millions of them are unable to find meaningful work that enables them to support themselves and contribute towards the growth of their economies.
Global studies show that over the next decade, a billion more young people will enter the job market. About 600 million new jobs will need to be created just to stay current with youth employment rates.
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. “Thanks to our Skills to Succeed programme, we already have initiatives in place to tackle the problem now. But more can be done through partnerships across organisations and sectors. Let’s make every future count and lead in the new corporate social responsibility,” concludes Nkuna.
Accenture (NYSE: ACN) is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialised skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions—underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network—Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 401,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com.
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