Even as South Africa slowly emerges from the suffocating financial grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, lately launched employment statistics continue to make for grim reading, with nearly eight million folks unemployed.
South Africa really recorded improved economic activity within the fourth quarter of 2021, including an enlargement in actual GDP of 1.2% in comparability with the earlier quarter, but unemployment still reached report ranges.
Denice Dumisa

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), unemployment in Q4 final yr rose to 35.3% from 34.9% in the earlier quarter. This is the highest degree since the begin of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even extra alarmingly, the youth unemployment rate stood at a staggering sixty five.5%.
The latest employment information was launched at the end of March by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and got here just days after South Africa managed to draw R1.2 trillion in investment in the course of the fourth South Africa Investment Conference.
Analysts have described the country’s economic system as “producing jobless growth” and imagine that even with upward economic growth within the medium term, South Africa will still have an total unemployment figure of round 30%.
Youth unemployment is a global issue, much more acutely pronounced in South Africa, the place the latest figures are sounding critical alarm bells.
In late 2021, Stats SA reported that two out of each three young folks beneath the age of 35 in South Africa are unemployed. For the age cohort beneath 25, this rises to three out of each four, or a jarring 75%.
But in and amongst the dire unemployment statistics there are rays of sunshine on tips on how to start to effectively handle this socio-economic disaster.
Education is vital

According to the QLFS report, of the 7,9 million unemployed individuals in the fourth quarter of 2021, as many as fifty one,6% had education levels under matric.
This number of unemployed drops the higher the schooling stage. Those with a Matric move constitute 38.6% of unemployed and this determine drops considerably for those with other tertiary qualifications (6.9%) and graduates who constitute solely 2.4% of South Africa’s formal unemployed.
Astron Energy’s Organisational Capability, Learning and Development Manager Lindiwe Ncongwane stated: “It is an typically repeated mantra that education is the important thing to success, however the labour force survey definitely bears this out.
“Education allied to opportunity is the golden key to breaking this cycle of unemployment and to create a future for younger people in the nation.”

Astron Energy, which operates South Africa’s second largest network of retail websites together with the Caltex model, runs a quantity of Youth Development Programmes covering both educational help and office and experiential learning opportunities.
Astron Energy’s Youth Development Programmes embody:




Graduate Internship Programme


According to Ncongwane, South African Corporates have a key position to play in providing opportunities for graduates and those with different qualifications to assist reduce the variety of unemployed, and also to help build a generation of employable young individuals.
“Investments in training and expertise growth, allied to education qualifications, will assist build a workforce that’s multi-skilled and capable of adapt to a large number of tasks and industries,” she mentioned.
The 2020 Future of Work report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) discovered that 50% of all staff will need reskilling by 2025 as adoption of know-how will increase.
The report also listed important thinking and problem-solving as leading expertise employers consider will be needed over the next five years, whereas newer trends centre on self-management abilities corresponding to energetic studying, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.
According to Ncongwane, a key a half of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip younger people for the world of work, not only at Astron Energy and the petrochemical trade, but the across a variety of disciplines to enable them to be globally competitive.
The company additionally runs a number of school-level initiatives within the STEM space, but according to the 4th Industrial Revolution’s focus on the 3Cs of Communication, Critical considering and Collaboration, has broadened this to STEAM – Science, Technology, Arts and Maths – in a bid to develop problem-solving and process-based studying.
The way ahead

“As a rustic, we’ve to proceed investing in the schooling of our young folks, significantly within the crucial skills area, and then create alternatives for them to use these skills and develop in office environments,” Ncongwane mentioned.
“As corporates we want to design a variety of programmes and initiatives to fulfill not solely the needs of the enterprise, but additionally the future of work – and critically the future employment possibilities for our young folks.
“If we do that proper, we are in a position to begin altering the outlook on the employment entrance and make certain that financial progress has a tangible impression on the futures and livelihoods of the generations to come.”

In the Youth Development space, Astron Energy runs the next programmes:

8 X Learnerships in chemical operations on the Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton, Cape Town

20 X Learnerships in Sales and New Venture Creation at Johannesburg offices

The Learnerships run from 1 Oct 2021 – 30 Sep 2022


Astron Energy runs a full Bursary programme which covers each under graduate and post graduate studies, from 1st year to Masters Level college students.
The bursaries include tuition fees, accommodation, books, meals, cash allowances and trip work within the type of internship/in-service-training within the company’s operations.
The programme started in 2020 and to date over 440 students have been funded.
There are currently 196 scholar bursars and 15 employee bursars as a part of this programme. A whole of 26 worker children are a half of the bursary programme for 2022.
The bursary covers a spread of study fields this yr together with:
BSc: Chemical Engineering/ BSc: Industrial Engineering/ BSC: Property Studies/ Masters: Industrial Psychology/ Honours: Financial Accounting/ Bcom: Economics/ BSc: Electrical Engineering/ Bcom/BA: Human Resources Management/ Bcom: Information Technology/ Bcom: Internal Auditing/ Bcom: Logistics/ Occupational Health and Safety/ Bcom: Supply Chain/ BSc: Analytical Chemistry.
pressure gauge presents successful bursars the opportunity to be part of the Astron Energy Graduate Training programme.

Astron Energy provides 24-month Apprenticeships in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and Instrumentation at the refinery in Cape Town. At present, the company has six apprenticeships in its manufacturing division.
Graduate Programme

The Graduate Internship Programme is run according to the various disciplines required by the business and runs for a interval of between 18-24 months. The present intake of Graduate interns is about to end on 31 December 2022.

Astron Energy presently has 77 members in its Learnership, Apprenticeship and Graduate Internship programmes:
LogisticsGraduate Internship13

CFOGraduate Internship11

RetailGraduate Internship5

HRGraduate Internship3


C & IGraduate Internship2

CEOGraduate Internship2

ManufacturingGraduate Internship1

STOGraduate Internship3

Strategy Graduate Internship2

SHEQGraduate Internship1


ManufacturingChemical Operations Learnership8



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