Friday Question: What prevents a sense of national unity and solving youth unemployment


Front Page Looking For… Empowering Youth and Resolving Youth Unemployment Friday Question: What prevents a sense of national unity and solving youth unemployment

This topic contains 13 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Skills Universe 2 years ago.

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  • #36573

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Friday is a good day to reflect on progress – what we’ve achieved this week, this month, this year.  Yesterday Minister Pravin Gordhan reflected on progress we’ve made since 1994. In introduction to his mid-term budget speech, he quoted the ANC’s Ready to Govern document:

    • The achievement of a genuine sense of national unity depends on all of us working together to overcome the inequalities created by apartheid.
    • A broad, inclusive approach, free of arrogance or complexes of superiority or inferiority, is fundamental.
    • We have to rely on the wisdom, life experiences, talents and know- how of all South Africans, women and men. There can be no “apartheid” in finding solutions to the problems created by apartheid.

    I propose that we print out this quote, frame or laminate it and display it on our workplace walls, because I’d suggest that for a number of reasons we haven’t achieved this.  For example, I don’t think that we’ve achieved a sense of national unity – many people feel that their contribution is not welcome – or excluded.  One parastatal I know of – for example has told some of their employees that they won’t be promoted until the organisation’s transformation goals are met. 

    I also don’t think that business regards it as part of their agenda to create employment for youth.  I’ve been told that they are in business to make profits – not benefit youth – that the government must sort out these problems.

    Does the education – and training – fraternity really empower youth to succeed in the current (globally) difficult economic environment? 

    On the individual level, how many people still have feelings of inferiority  – or superiority?  Personally, I can’t believe that we can’t solve youth unemployment if we pool our: “wisdom, life experiences, talents and know-how”.  Many “retired” people either want to – or have to – continue working.  But does everyone feel that their contribution is really welcome?

    A challenge – in answering this discussion please try to avoid apartheid racial classifications.

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  • #36584

    karen deller
    Participant

    HI Sylvia, you are right of course. one of the systemic implications of the BBBEE scorecard has been an increase in activity around the factors that lead to scoring points (eg doing learnerships) possibly we can suggest a BBBEE scorecard item for the employment of unemployed youth? maybe this would catalyse things? on a personal level – I run a business. I have for 15 years and we have, in the past, tried to hire interns and learners but never with much success (we had two successes out of about 10). if i brutally reflect on what we did wrong it was that we under estimated how long it would take someone who had never worked to assimilate our small business/work until the project is done/don’t rip us off/give 100%/highly stressful/cope on yourown, culture. It takes time and effort to integrate any newbie, let alone someone who has never worked and who has no role models who have worked and who is idealistically thinking they can do ‘strategy’ and be promoted after three months! These Newbies don’t understand how to read body language, how it is not acceptable to be the first person out the door at 16:58 and how it is probably best to ask if you don’t understand rather than waste time and resources getting something badly wrong. I know we need to train, i know we need to tackle this problem of youth unemployment but the energy/tolerance it takes from employers is huge – and our clients don’t cut us any slack because the Newbie messed up an order. But, you are right Sylvia – we all need to make a change and contribution. many of us manage small ETD businesses – how about we challenge each other and recruit one graduate each? and share our experiences of what works and what doesn’t? maybe someone can come up with a Newbie work induction programme that covers all-the -things -they -dont- teach- you -at university- but- which -will- get- you- fired-in -the- first -month course? I’m game to give it another bash!

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  • #36583

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Karen – I think that you’re on the right track on a number of points: there’s a B-BBEE code out for comment so we can contribute to that.

    I can relate to the issues of work readiness and I recall that the FASSET has a work readiness programme – we could possibly review how “finance-related” that is but it could provide a good start

    There’s also a generational issue on the work ethic – but also how many young people actually have a sense that they can develop themselves through work – I’ve seen too many young people who still have an artificial “ceiling” over their heads – and I don’t think that enough has been done to address that.  One of the apartheid legacies that lingers in people’s heads – that certain people fulfill certain jobs.

    I like your challenge idea – more than a thousand training people belong to the training service providers group – that could be a good place to start.

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  • #36582

    Hi to All 

    Thank you Silvia

    The issue of youth subsidy is the national issue ,the difficult we are facing is that,the top guys in a country do not listen to the people in a floor .

    During apartheid ,manpower act was passed,and it was aimed to uplift the skills of the young South African (I am a product of that)

    We will not keep on pointing fingers to apartheid, we are 18 years passed that time  and Government of the time had the wall to lean  against to protect the worth of the country .

    We (country ) need more forums to discuss what the people of this country  need 

    Coming to the issue of post retirement employment to the companies , I am afraid to say it real does not serving the purpose.

    Leaders and managers look like they are more reactive and work with issues of emergencies. People allocated in the first quadrant are not suitable for leadership they alway deal with issues of emergency and urgent.

    Youth subsidy will be the only way to reduce rate of unemployment .

    youth also must stop doing useless degrees that are taking them to nowhere.

    While I was still young ,there was one of the subject at secondary school called Guidance ,I think it was also giving some values and you will test yourself where you will be suitable when you grow up.

    when you visit Library you will get “My career /,My loopbaan”  and it was highligting the differrent carreer you can explore .

    With the current situation the leadership do not think their days are numbered they see themselves living forever,

    A learner is given 100 marks to get and you still declaring someone getting 37 % competent ,Let we strive to get FET college more accessible affordable and assisting learners /youth to get a job.

    How can you describe the freedom

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  • #36581

    Hi Sylvia,

    The presentation by Neil Pretorius of DRD Gold which can be accessed by the url http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/sa-needs-job-creators-says

    identifies a very necessary approach to this challenge.

    The engineering community continues to complain about the scarcity of skilled and EXPERIENCED resources in the lower  group (30-50), but this is impacted by a number of issues. First, there is a reluctance by industry to spend money on training in the workplace which is ably assisted by the difficulties of claiming funds from the NSF, and the complaint that any staff that are trained are poached by those that do not train.

    Second, BEE and HR policy is driving the experienced and the retirement age white resources out of the industry, to effectively both deplete the skills base but worse, to remove the mentoring and experiential skills transfer to the younger resources. We estimate that the centre of gravity of real value-adding engineering and project management resources lies in the 50-70 age group, and as this ages, so the opportunity to utilise their experiences diminishes, and which cannot be obtained from books, boxes or memory chips.

    The fixation on “transformation before education” eliminating the processes required to produce experience and workplace knowledge is, and will, impact negatively on this up-skilling and ability to become job creators. I believe the whole transformation issue in principle goes against developing or even maintaining intellectual standards needed to be a competitive nation.

    BEE has been badly implemented and little focus is on rewarding skills development. The focus on ownership and filling numbers criteria is regarded as more important. When the transformation process REMOVES THE INSTITUTIONAL MEMORY which it has clearly done in education, infrastructure development, health services, crime control, financial control and expediture efficiency to name many, then it is extremely difficult, if not impossible within the TIME frame we need to grow the job market, to implement any effective reversal. It’s a lose-lose deal.

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  • #36580

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster
    Hi Chris, great thanks – I’ve actually copied and pasted – with the full Creamer Media crediting below.   It provides a different perspective to what we are currently getting from the Marikana enquiry.
    SA needs ‘job creators’, says DRDGold CEO
    By: Natasha Odendaal 25th October 2012

    JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South Africa has moved past the point of job creation and needed to move into creating “job creators”, surface gold-mining company DRDGold CEO Niël Pretorius said on Thursday.

    Speaking at the company’s first-quarter results presentation, he said that social capital has become the responsibility of every South African to ensure the future of the next generation.

    “If you think that you can just manage your own little group of people, then I think you are deluded, because in South Africa, the job is just simply too big for government. They do not have the resources, the people, or the skills to adequately cover the entire country,” Pretorius said, adding that it was up to corporate companies to create “little pockets of stability and excellence”.

    He indicated that, should this not be accomplished, the country would produce another generation incapable of providing employment to other citizens.

    Pretorius pointed to DRDGold’s own initiatives wherein affordable skills development programmes, which “go beyond mining”, were available to communities surrounding the group’s Ergo operations.

    DRDGold’s college, in Gauteng, offered courses for, besides others, aspiring electricians, autoelectricians, technicians and small business owners.

    A three-year part-time entrepreneurship course was also offered, covering the full spectrum of owning and running a small business.

    Further, the company had established a satellite facility at the college offering extra classes for matric maths and science students, and hoped to extend this to accountancy.

    Edited by: Mariaan Webb To subscribe to Engineering News’s print magazine email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or buy now.
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  • #36579

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Thanks Mandlenkosi – I agree that we mustn’t keep going back to apartheid – we just need to remember that we all still have scars.  On the older people, I don’t suggest that they be employed – I’d like to suggest that they should be asked to help transfer skills and knowledge to the younger people.

    I agree with you that there is no freedom – where there is major debt, no chance for employment, and no education – there is no true full citizenship available without at least a basic education.

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  • #36578

    Hi Sylvia, I agree the older people (post retirement) should form part of a skills/knowledge transference programme. This will be a platform where young adults  become more aware of the world of work. Giving us more insight and highlighting also areas of change or development that can propel the country in turn creating  employment opportunities for others…. 

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  • #36577

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Dear Sylvia, I think the core of the problem is that we are focusing on a negative statement – The achievement of a genuine sense of national unity depends on all of us working together “to overcome the inequalities created by apartheid”. If we could replace this part of the statement with a positive future goal like  “to become a leader in Africa in the field of ….”, it could bind all of us together. Malaysia is a very good example of how a common goal can unite a nation after many years of segregation – the people were united behind the dream of producing their own motor vehicle brand – the Proton. They started around the same time as SA on the road to reconciliation. They however chose to leave the past behind and focus on a common goal for all Malaysians – today they are miles ahead of us in terms of economic growth and development. Isn’t it better to be FOR something positive than to be AGAINST something negative?

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  • #43145

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Dear Sylvia, I think the core of the problem is that we are focusing on a negative statement – The achievement of a genuine sense of national unity depends on all of us working together “to overcome the inequalities created by apartheid”. If we could replace this part of the statement with a positive future goal like  “to become a leader in Africa in the field of ….”, it could bind all of us together. Malaysia is a very good example of how a common goal can unite a nation after many years of segregation – the people were united behind the dream of producing their own motor vehicle brand – the Proton. They started around the same time as SA on the road to reconciliation. They however chose to leave the past behind and focus on a common goal for all Malaysians – today they are miles ahead of us in terms of economic growth and development. Isn’t it better to be FOR something positive than to be AGAINST something negative?

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  • #44186

    Skills Universe
    Keymaster

    Dear Sylvia, I think the core of the problem is that we are focusing on a negative statement – The achievement of a genuine sense of national unity depends on all of us working together “to overcome the inequalities created by apartheid”. If we could replace this part of the statement with a positive future goal like  “to become a leader in Africa in the field of ….”, it could bind all of us together. Malaysia is a very good example of how a common goal can unite a nation after many years of segregation – the people were united behind the dream of producing their own motor vehicle brand – the Proton. They started around the same time as SA on the road to reconciliation. They however chose to leave the past behind and focus on a common goal for all Malaysians – today they are miles ahead of us in terms of economic growth and development. Isn’t it better to be FOR something positive than to be AGAINST something negative?

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  • #36576

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Hi Johan – that’s an interesting perspective – so what are we uniting for?  A South African economy where every person is wanted and needed and has the skills knowledge and confidence to actively participate?  Or – where every person is treated with dignity and respect, receives the necessary education, and acquires skills to achieve their maximum potential?

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  • #36575

    Tebogo Boroto
    Participant

    Hi to All

    First and foremost let me thank Sylvia for always coming up with thought provoking discussions. You are a very positive forward thinking person. I have never seen you deride the policies or the guidelines goverment has put in place to help forge this country forward.

    Without trying to mess all the spade work you have covered already let me just point this out: It is going to be hard for me to listen to someone who I feel I am superior to. I am going to fault his every endeavour even those that can take both of us forward and most likely our relationship will break down. It is not going to help much if I try to tell him how he must phrase his speech or instructions because I feel they are inappropriate, what if I am the only one who feels that way or others who feel the same as me chose to focus on something more positive so as not to create negative energy?

    If I had not read what Neil Pretorius from DRD Gold had said and taken Chris Reay’s comment at face value I would have  concluded that Neil was negative in his speech. On the contrary, Neil’s presentation is one of hope and nation building aspirations that should be embraced by all South Africans be they pre-apartheid or post-apartheid. We need CEOs like Neil Pretorius because he has seen that to address job shortages we need job-creators/entrepreneurs. Indeed this is beyond the government especially ours that still need to be up-skilled as well.

    The problem is that we are like the Spanish bull-fight. The Matador, the Red flag, the Bull and the Crowd. We seem to see the government as the matador, the policies, the acts and other governing guides as the red flag. Business is more like the bull and the crowd is divided in two; those who are running in the streets just enjoying the cameraderie with no care in the world and the second group comprise of those who are already in the stadium sitting and waiting for the fight to begin in the safety of the grandstands.

    Exactly ten years ago, we were called to a meeting with management at my workplace and during comments time I told them that we need to put a program in place for skills transferwnce as I had noticed by then that there were highly skilled white folks who were nearing their retirement age.There was going to be a great vacuum when they leave. Unfortunately asI was a blue collar worker my words fell on deaf ears. My company is not doing dadly at present but it is not doing greatly either; coaching and mentoring is not filtering through and if they trickle through there is no force behind that pushes them to full speed and as a result the whole company is limping. 

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  • #36574

    sylvia hammond
    Keymaster

    Tebogo, first thank you for the kind words.  But much more importantly thank you for that wonderful metaphor of the Spanish bull fight – you are so right and your description is so accurate.  How many of us switch off when we hear it’s someone from the “opposition” speaking?  Or when it’s someone from a different class – which is what you describe at your workplace – not being taken seriously because you’re not senior enough? 

    How do we build a nation that no longer judges the speaker by what they look and sound like – but rather what they have to contribute?

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