Even as South Africa slowly emerges from the suffocating economic grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, recently released employment statistics proceed to make for grim studying, with practically eight million folks unemployed.
South Africa really recorded improved economic exercise in the fourth quarter of 2021, together with an enlargement in actual GDP of 1.2% compared to the earlier quarter, but unemployment nonetheless reached record ranges.
Denice Dumisa

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), unemployment in Q4 final year rose to 35.3% from 34.9% within the earlier quarter. This is the very best stage for the rationale that start of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even more alarmingly, the youth unemployment fee stood at a staggering 65.5%.
เพรสเชอร์เกจ was launched at the finish of March by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and got here simply days after South Africa managed to draw R1.2 trillion in funding through the fourth South Africa Investment Conference.
Analysts have described the country’s economy as “producing jobless growth” and believe that even with upward economic development in the medium time period, South Africa will nonetheless have an general unemployment figure of round 30%.
Youth unemployment is a world issue, much more acutely pronounced in South Africa, the place the most recent figures are sounding important alarm bells.
In late 2021, Stats SA reported that two out of every 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 tackle this socio-economic disaster.
Education is essential

According to the QLFS report, of the 7,9 million unemployed individuals in the fourth quarter of 2021, as many as 51,6% had education ranges beneath matric.
This variety of unemployed drops the upper the schooling degree. Those with a Matric cross constitute 38.6% of unemployed and this determine drops substantially 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 mentioned: “It is an often repeated mantra that schooling is the key to success, however the labour drive survey actually bears this out.
“Education allied to alternative is the golden key to breaking this cycle of unemployment and to create a future for young people within the nation.”

Astron Energy, which operates South Africa’s second largest community of retail sites including the Caltex brand, runs a quantity of Youth Development Programmes masking each educational help and office and experiential learning opportunities.
Astron Energy’s Youth Development Programmes embrace:




Graduate Internship Programme


According to Ncongwane, South African Corporates have a key function to play in providing opportunities for graduates and those with other qualifications to assist cut back the variety of unemployed, and likewise to assist build a era of employable young folks.
“Investments in coaching and expertise growth, allied to training qualifications, will assist construct a workforce that’s multi-skilled and in a position to adapt to a massive number of duties and industries,” she stated.
The 2020 Future of Work report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) discovered that 50% of all workers will want reskilling by 2025 as adoption of expertise increases.
The report additionally listed important pondering and problem-solving as main expertise employers believe might be wanted over the following five years, while newer developments centre on self-management abilities similar to energetic studying, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.
According to Ncongwane, a key a half of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip younger individuals for the world of labor, not solely at Astron Energy and the petrochemical trade, however the throughout a range of disciplines to enable them to be globally competitive.
The company also runs a variety of school-level initiatives in the STEM space, however consistent with the 4th Industrial Revolution’s concentrate on the 3Cs of Communication, Critical thinking and Collaboration, has broadened this to STEAM – Science, Technology, Arts and Maths – in a bid to develop problem-solving and process-based learning.
The way ahead

“As a rustic, we have to continue investing within the training of our young individuals, significantly in the critical expertise area, and then create opportunities for them to apply these expertise and develop in office environments,” Ncongwane stated.
“As corporates we have to design a range of programmes and initiatives to meet not only the wants of the enterprise, but additionally the future of work – and critically the future employment potentialities for our young individuals.
“If we do this right, we can start changing the outlook on the employment front and ensure that financial progress has a tangible influence on the futures and livelihoods of the generations to return.”

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

eight X Learnerships in chemical operations at the Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton, Cape Town

20 X Learnerships in Sales and New Venture Creation at Johannesburg places of work

The Learnerships run from 1 Oct 2021 – 30 Sep 2022


Astron Energy runs a full Bursary programme which covers each beneath graduate and publish graduate research, from 1st 12 months to Masters Level students.
The bursaries embody tuition fees, accommodation, books, meals, money allowances and vacation work in the type of internship/in-service-training within the company’s operations.
The programme began in 2020 and thus far over 440 students have been funded.
There are currently 196 student bursars and 15 employee bursars as a half of this programme. A total of 26 employee children are a half of the bursary programme for 2022.
The bursary covers a variety of study fields this year 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.
Astron Energy additionally presents profitable bursars the opportunity to be a part of the Astron Energy Graduate Training programme.

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

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

Astron Energy currently has seventy seven individuals 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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