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Businesses can improve the youth unemployment rate! But how?

Article provided by SDC

According to StatsSA, the current youth unemployment rate is sitting at 59% in the first quarter of 2020. The obvious increase since COVID-19 hit does not require too much imagination.

But did you know that:

  • Companies can help decrease the unemployment percentage that does not require long term employment contracts
  • Can help meaningfully improve the youth unemployment rate
  • Can provide tertiary education via bespoke learnership programmes
  • The company reaps the tax benefit of R80 000 per able bodied learner and R120 000 per disabled body learner thanks to Section12H of the Income Tax Act

So why do more companies not know about this and if so, why aren’t they doing anything? “Because much like our people and or economy, South Africans are holding on to everything they have and don’t understand that to make a difference in not only someone’s life but an entire community, doesn’t require excessive budgets and internal planning procedures that have become synonymous with traditional HR protocol,” says Mikaela De Waal, Key Accounts Manager from Skills Development Corporation (SDC).

According to Mikaela and based on industry expertise, the first hurdle the company faces when approaching clients is that they’ve been negatively affected by businesses that claim to offer a skills development service which ends up falling short on service delivery, the learnership programmes themselves, or simply overcharge. “The bottom line of learnership programmes is that through a facilitated process, companies not only reap noteworthy tax benefits that support and improve their B-BBEE scorecards, but they have the power to make a significant difference to a large group of individuals who, quite frankly, are in desperate need of it,” says Mikaela.

It has become more important now than ever before to focus educational efforts on functional training via a blended learning platform. These programmes should be easily customisable so they work for a specific industry and/or sector should that industry be able to invite candidates into full time employment post their learnership.

“It is also imperative that the companies used to facilitate the programme are accredited with the relevant industry bodies and that pertinent candidate assessments and evaluations are undertaken to ensure the necessary due diligence has taken place according to the codes of good practice on broad based black economic empowerment.

SDC is a proud Partner of the NSBC