South Africa Embracing the Future: Youth Empowerment by Kgomotso Mopalami

Addressing Youth Unemployment from HR Point of View by Maphutha Diaz
June 19, 2019
Corporate Wellness: The Importance of a Healthy Mind at Work by Kgomotso Mopalami
July 4, 2019

The month of June in South Africa is dedicated to the young generation of this country; its own youth, that is vibrant with talent and innovation. A lot of activities take place during this month, however, in some instances, more action is only observed during this time and thereafter almost nothing happens. It is thus in the onus of the HR Profession, to obligate on their duty to society to ensure that young talent is nurtured and safe-guarded. The youth of today are people with innovative ideas; a generation that wants to do things their own way and a driving force to ensure change takes place. 

Whilst we are gearing towards the end of celebrating the youth month, SABPP had a great achievement once more by successfully unveiling the #202030 SABPP Strategy-the People Factor Strategy-an enabler for professionals to co-create the future workplace as the center of the 4thIndustrial Revolution; revolutionizing the stakeholders’ experiences; and thriving in the 4IR age.  SABPP has been playing a critical role in addressing the youth unemployment and subsequently exposing the young generation to the world of work, thus preparing them for tomorrow, to elevate this beautiful country to greater heights as future leaders. The new strategy, focus on the 4thIndustrial Revolution, speaks to the youth and is a driving force for them to be actively involved in implementing change, also an opportunity to bring forth new ideas in this profession. Subsequently, in addressing the youth unemployment, SABPP has taken an initiative to expose the young talent to a workplace and moreover that they are the driving force of this new revolution. There’s vast programmes designed for the youth and HR Professionals should be at the forefront to ensure that such programmes are implemented, and thus, their duty to society. (https://sabpp.co.za/the-role-of-the-hr-profession-in-youth-empowerment-20-actions-to-develop-the-youth-by-marius-meyer/).  

On the 31stof August 2018, the HR Society witnessed another milestone when the first SABPP HR Youth Council was launched. The reasoning behind the launching of the Council was to give the youth a voice. “SABPP realises that in heading for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we cannot venture into it without input from the future HR Professionals who are going to spearhead the profession and the body to the revolution. Therefore, the main purpose of the Youth Council is to serve as the mini – board of the SABPP”(https://sabpp.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/SABPP-HR-YOUTH-COUNCIL.dox).

Purpose and Objectives of the Council 

  • Serve as an advisory to the Body
  • Generate new ideas for the Profession
  • Assist student chapters with achievement of their goals
  • Create national awareness of the Profession
  • Standardise Student Chapter activities and promote collaboration between universities
  • Leadership Development
  • Mobilize HR Citizenry
  • Create alliances that advance the interests of the youth
  • Ensure progression of HR Students 

Whilst we’re on the right track as the professional body, President Ramaphosa delivered the 2019 State of the Nation Address, where he indicated that as we enter the last decade of Vision 2030, there should be a more clear definition of the South Africa we want and further agree on the concrete actions we need to achieve that.  He emphasised that he had a great privilege to meet and engage in dialogue with several young South Africans who are doing amazing work to build the country and develop its people; and that if there’s one thing learnt from such engagements with the youth of this country is that “we cannot impose solutions, but everything we have to do must be led by the youth”; these youth, also want to become employers.” The President re-iterated that the fortunes of this country depend on the energies and creative talent of young people and that entrepreneurship needs to be supported.

To ensure that the plan to develop the youth is implemented, he highlighted the following:

  • Continuity to develop programmes to ensure that economically excluded young people are work ready and absorbed into sectors where ‘jobs demand’ is growing. These sectors include global business processing services, agricultural value chains, technical installation, repair and maintenance and new opportunities provided through the digital economy and the fourth industrial revolution.
  • 50 000 youth a year would be taken for social economy jobs such as early childhood development and health care.
  • One of the five fundamentals he highlighted is that 2million young people will be in employment in the next decade.
  • To expand the programmes to enable young people to gain paid workplace experience through initiatives like the Youth Employment Service and facilitating work-based internships for graduates of technical and vocational programmes.
  • To roll out small business incubation centers to provide youth-driven start-ups with financial and technical advice as they begin their journeys.
  • That this plan will work across government departments and all three tiers of government, in partnership with the private sector.
  • Already working with the private sector to create pathways into work for young people through scaling up existing pathway management networks.
  • Networks that allow young people who opt in increased visibility, network support and opportunities to signal their availability for jobs and self-employment.
  • Ensuring that youth from poorer households and young women in particular, are empowered to take up the new opportunities.
  • Government to support tech-enabled platforms for self-employed youth in rural areas and townships.
  • To expand the programmes to enable young people to gain paid workplace experience through initiatives like the Youth Employment Service, and also facilitating work-based internships for graduates of technical and vocational programmes; also
  • To roll out small business incubation centres to provide youth-driven start-ups with financial and technical advice as they begin their journeys. (https://www.moneyweb.co.za/news/south-africa/read-ramaphosas-complete-state-of-the-nation-address-2/)

Having said that, let us close this month with the readiness in our minds to work tirelessly to foster tomorrow’s world of work, our youth.  We can only work together as HR Professionals to ensure the brighter future for the youth of South Africa. Let us be role models of our values;Responsibility, Integrity, Accountability and Respect in ensuring the success of the plans for both the country and the profession to uplift the youth!

 “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” (Margaret Mead).