by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG – IN an effort to tackle the grim prospect of unemployment, 500 young graduates are to receive post-graduate training and internship opportunities following a partnership by Vodacom and some institutions of higher learning.
The Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA) is part of the initiative.
The internship programme is designed to give young graduates workplace experience as this will improve their chances of getting employment in today’s tough job market.
The programme for the young people that recently graduated from Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and universities will run for 12 months.
The partnership comes as youth unemployment rate in South Africa rises.
“For South Africa, the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated our structural inequalities and laid them bare,” said Jorge Mendes, Chief Officer: Consumer Business for Vodacom South Africa.
He noted the pandemic worsened the problem of youth unemployment, with an alarming unemployment rate among youths aged 15-34.
A StatsSA Q4:2020 unemployment report released in April 2021 shows there were 39,3 million people of working age in South Africa, of which 22,3 million were in the labour force while 17,1 million were not economically active.
Of the 39,3 million people these, 20,5 million were youth aged 15 – 34 years. The youth unemployment rate in South Africa was 46,1 percent in Q4: 2020.
Peter Shoba, W&RSETA Acting Chief Operating Officer, said the project would facilitate partnerships between Vodacom and higher education institutions with the aim of exposing unemployed graduates to a diverse organisation to provide them with worthwhile experience.
“In turn, these graduates will also share some of the knowledge they have acquired with the employer, leading to a mutually beneficial relationship,” Shoba said.
Beneficiaries will be deployed in different areas within the business such as Vodacom Stores, Customer Care, Marketing, Consumer Business Unit and Enterprise Business Unit division, Vodacom ICT Centres around the country.
The new cohort started early this month, with the last intake starting in July 2021.
– CAJ News