Unemployed Voice launched during Youth Month: A voice for the unemployed by Leoni van der Vaart

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June 7, 2018
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June 12, 2018

President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent call, for organisations to support the Youth Employment Service (YES) Initiative, coincides with the 2018 Human Capital Trends published by Deloitte. The trends indicate that organisations should move beyond business enterprises, with corporate social responsibility programmes as marketing or HR stints, to truesocial enterprises that incorporate relationships with their communities into their strategy (Deloitte, 2018). The need for this transformation transpires from a growing frustration with political solutions to socio-economic ills and is echoedin the South African realm. Social enterprises outperform their competition in terms ofreputation, talent management, and customer loyalty (Deloitte, 2018).

Unemployment is one critical challenge that shapes the future of individuals, families, communities and the country. Designing and implementing initiatives aimed at alleviating the burden of unemployment is an avenue through which organisations can do social good.

Beforedesigning these interventions, it is importantto consider whether the unemployed are one big heterogeneous group (i.e. “the unemployed) or whether they represent different homogeneous groups (i.e. different categories or different types of unemployed). This knowledge is important because it means that we either design “one size fits all” interventions or we tailor interventions for different types of unemployed. If different types of unemployed are identified, we can proceed to determine the consequences of being a certain type. May it bethat certain types have more positive outcomes than others, we canclassify them as more resilient. Interventions are then aimedat optimising their well-being. The types with more negative outcomes are classifiedas “at risk” and they necessitate early identification and remedial (curative) intervention.

A social enterprise is still concerned with performance. Hence, the return on investment in interventions is important. Knowing what we are dealing with (different types of unemployed and their prospects) enhances the likelihood of interventionsbeing effective, economically and socially.

Read the next edition of Unemployed Voice in HR Voice for more information on different types of unemployed people.

Source: Deloitte. (2018). Deloitte human capital trends survey. Retrieved from https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/us/articles/HCTrends2018/2018-HCtrends_Rise-of-the-social-enterprise.pdf

Dr Leoni van der Vaart is a lecturer at the North-West University, Vaaltriangle Campus in Vanderbijlpark.  She recently completed her PhD at North-West University on unemployment in South Africa. The title of her study was “The experiences and motivation of unemployed people in South Africa: A person- and variable-centred perspective”. This article was first published in the June 2018 edition of HR Voice, monthly magazine of SABPP.