The recently concluded TETA EmpowaYouth Week in Orange Farm brought together a panel of experts to address the urgent need for relevant skills among young South Africans, particularly in the finance and banking industries. At the heart of the discussion was Thomas Chimutunga, the Head of the Business and Project Management Programme at CTU Training Solutions.
Chimutunga voiced his concerns over the worrying skills gap that is leaving many young South Africans unprepared for the demands of the evolving job market. He stated, “One of the reasons we have unemployment in the country is that there is no synergy between what the industry wants and what young people are studying.”
He stressed the urgency of imparting critical skills such as decision-making, leadership, data analysis, software development, and engineering, which he believes are not being effectively taught across educational institutions. Unlike many, however, CTU stands out by continuously updating its curriculum to meet industry needs, ensuring students are well-equipped to thrive in the contemporary workplace.
But technical knowledge is not the only prerequisite for success in the job market. The panel emphasized the importance of being proactive and seizing all available opportunities. Chimutunga advised that South African businesses look for diligent and reliable individuals with a willingness to learn new things. CTU, he said, is dedicated to instilling these values in its students across its 11 nationwide campuses.
AI in the workplace was another pressing issue addressed. While fears of AI replacing jobs persist, Ayn Brown, Chief People Officer at TymeBank, shed some light on the reality. Brown stated, “AI won’t take your jobs. People that know how to utilise AI will be the ones that take your jobs.” This underscores the importance of keeping pace with technological advances.
A highlight of the event was when CTU awarded a R50,000 bursary to Samukelisiwe Xulu, a lucky attendee, to pursue any course at CTU. This was met with excitement as CTU welcomed her to the family, eagerly anticipating her future journey with them.
The EmpowaYouth Week proved to be a crucial platform for CTU to connect with aspiring South Africans and showcase its valuable course offerings. Having been in the business of developing skilled professionals since 1987, CTU recognizes the importance of staying relevant in an evolving job market. It’s dedicated to bridging the skills gap, fostering youth development, and paving the way for an inclusive future. CTU stated, “Together, let’s continue to bridge the skills gap, encourage youth development, and pave the way for an inclusive future.”