CTU Training Solutions recently held a webinar to discuss the growing concern around youth unemployment and career readiness in South Africa.
The webinar brought business leaders, communication specialists, and education experts together in a panel discussion led by Johan Wildenboer – PR and Events Manager at CTU Training Solutions.
The panel discussed how different role players in South Africa should approach the issue of youth unemployment, help students make the right choices, and quantify career readiness.
Approaching the problem
The panel discussion begins by detailing the factors that have led to South Africa’s youth unemployment crisis – highlighting that as of 2022, youth unemployment stood at over 60%.
Nicola Tager, the Global Head of Careers at Investec, explained that a major reason for youth unemployment in South Africa is a disconnect between students and the job market.
Tager argued that students need to be given direction when approaching their studies – and neither the private nor public sectors have done enough to provide this.
The panel agreed that more must be done to help young South Africans access targeted skills training that actually prepares them for the working world – and both the private and public sectors must play a role in this.
Making the right choices
Authentic Leadership CEO Janine Hills noted that schools also have a major responsibility to cultivate and inspire a passion among young South Africans to make choices that lead them into successful careers.
Confidence Dikgole, CEO of the IEB, added that basic education is essential for equipping students with the information they need for future success.
This responsibility also extends to parents and other role models who can offer direction and inspiration to these youths.
The panel stated that online tools such as LinkedIn can be an effective resource to help young South Africans find inspiration for the future, too, but there remains no substitute for real-world engagements.
While theoretical experience can be taught in a classroom, the panel’s experts went on to discuss how students must take proactive steps to prepare themselves for the modern workplace.
There are many ways to do this – including job shadowing, extra courses, volunteering, and general proactiveness.
Dr Jerry Gule, CEO of the Institute of People Management, emphasised that a key part of all these methods of preparation is to have the right attitude – students must link their desire to eventually get a job with their current drive to prepare.
Dr Erna Gerryts, an educational psychologist from the University of Stellenbosch, added that students must be open to new experiences and take every opportunity to expand their portfolio.
This will help them build a CV that stands out to employers and proves they have the skills and experience to provide real value to their organisations.
About CTU Training Solutions
CTU Training Solutions is a South African private tertiary education provider that has been developing skilled professionals since 1987.
The organisation offers full-time and part-time training across multiple faculties, including IT, Design, Business/Management, Engineering, Humanities, and Green Technologies.
Its priority through its courses is ensuring its graduates have the right skills to thrive in entry-level professional positions.