While we all breathed a sigh of relief when our President announced the lifting of the State of Disaster, we don’t just return to life as normal as South Africans. The reality is that we were already grappling with some key economic issues pre-Covid, that have worsened because of the pandemic.
The announcement recently that our unemployment rate has climbed, with the youth unemployment rate at a record high of 66.5%, is the perfect example. (Sobering side note: Did you know that the unemployment rate is only measured on those individuals who are actively seeking employment and applying for positions? So, we’re probably looking at a much higher figure in reality).
Now that we are no longer in this rush and scramble to make things work and adjust as we go along – we now need to all put our heads together and find ways on how we build systems, policies and entrench ways of thinking that set us up for a different way of working and living – in a sustainable way.
“The upside – we are South African’s. We are equipped with a great sense of humour and tenacity, and we always find a way to come together to solve some of the toughest problems. For us, at Afrika Tikkun Services, this is an absolute fact – it’s something we experience every day,” says Onyi Nwaneri, Afrika Tikkun Services CEO.
“So, that’s what we did. We came together, with some like-minded people and looked at ways we could play our part at tackling the unemployment rate and what would make sense to focus on post-pandemic that would ensure sustainable employment for our youth,” continues Onyi.
We looked at a South Africa before pandemic, during pandemic and unpacked future market insights to understand how best to support our youth, tackle the unemployment rate and ultimately contribute to a better South Africa.
Enter online shopping, internet service providers, online meetings, and the remote workforce
The common thread – they rely on technology to operate or they’re part of the ICT industry. All research points to the fact that the tech industry was a pillar during the pandemic and given what the future holds in terms of ways of working, the pandemic has without a doubt accelerated digital transformation (59% of companies agree to this notion).
Given this, it was a simple decision on where the focus should be. Even better, it’s an existing service offering within the organization – so it’s something we could start driving immediately.
Specialised skills training – information and communication technologies
This area offers youth the opportunity to gain skills in a specific industry, making them more marketable and increasing their chances of employment – but more importantly, puts them in a better position for sustainable employment opportunities.
Looking at which markets grew during the pandemic and the current market outlook, focusing on the ICT sector was the obvious choice. Afrika Tikkun Services covers the most critical technical skills needed by businesses today – and given the fast pace of digital transformation – these skills are now futureproof. Which is a key strategic outcome we set for ourselves in our skills development programmes.
“Focusing on specialized skills training within the ICT sector, allows us not only to secure long-term meaningful careers for young South Africans, but contributes to building a more connected South Africa,” says Onyi.
“What’s more, if you look at the current job market, many jobs in the ICT sector can be done from anywhere – this way we’re also opening up these candidates to the global job market as more and more companies are adopting a ‘borderless’ recruitment strategy.”
South Africans interested in participating in our ICT training can find out more by visiting www.afrikatikkunservices.com