In May this year, Bigen Group CEO Anton Boshoff announced he would step down to enable a black professional to take his place and aid transformation. To the sceptics, it may have looked like a corporate manoeuvre. A way to earn more tenders for the company, known for its pioneering work in providing infrastructure in Africa and South Africa. But he followed through on this intent by allocating any funds that were to be used for a farewell, to host a lunch for the homeless in Tshwane.
A great example of business doing good. We’re a bit late for Youth Month, but we put together 3 ways your business can make a real difference in the lives of the youth of South Africa:
- Recruit A Graduate
Launched by the award-winning director of RecruitMyMom, Philippa Geard, this initiative matches graduates from top learning institutions in South Africa, with prospective employers.
You would think that companies would be clamouring for top talent, but the balance of power tips heavily towards the companies hiring, not the graduates who spent on average 3 to 4 years honing their skills and knowledge in their field.
These graduates bring an exciting and diverse set of skills that could help grow businesses, yet even if they are employed, companies provide these skilled youths with menial jobs that relate in no way to their ability, causing them to lose hope.
Geard says, “When I started my two online recruitment ventures, it was with the distinct aim of helping two demographics of our nation — our women and our youth — and to positively impact their development.”
She continues, “The stats should be a familiar song by now. The Economist’s Pocket World in Figures claims South Africa has the highest rate of youth unemployment in the world at 54.70% in the fourth quarter of 2018. By all standards, this is a shocking reality for our children. And even bleaker is the less-than-hopeful economic growth rate, which is predicted at 1.3% by the World Bank.”
What can you do to stem the tide of youth unemployment? For your next available position, consider employing a graduate or think about how a graduate could complement a current project.
Go to www.recruitagraduate.co.za to find out more and to load your available positions or internships or apprenticeships.
- POPUP People Upliftment Programme
Established in 1999, this initiative operates in the communities of Salvokop and Soshanguve and Nelson Mandela Bay, providing much-needed high-quality skills-based training to people struggling to make a living.
Detailed assessments identify the candidate’s unique aptitude and skillset and a training route is identified. Training ranges from office and administration skills to suit receptionists, clerks and PA’s, to computer skills, hospitality, home-based care and several trades.
They also identify learners with an aptitude for entrepreneurship and place and develop them through an ESD program.
POPUP also helps place candidates within their network of corporate supporters, who benefit through POPUP’s B-BBEE status through earning points on the B-BBEE scorecard.
What can you do? Contact POPUP to place one of their learners in your business (in some cases at no cost to you) or contact them to help you set up an ESD function in your own business.
A little different to the other two options, your business could effect lasting change to unemployment by supporting young entrepreneurs to create sustainable businesses, through mentoring.
There are a number of formal mentoring programs available. Alternatively, you can look to NGO’s, local business groups or even LinkedIn for suitable mentees.
In considering a mentee candidate, think about whether you possess the skillset and experience to offer them the help they need and whether they are open to being mentored and hearing hard truths. You also need to make sure you will be able to offer them your time consistently.
Mentoring takes more mental real estate from a business owner than the options above but is one of the most rewarding on a personal level.