In a recent Twitter Q&A with South Africa’s youth, president Cyril Ramaphosa urged businesses to employ young people even if they don’t have work experience.
Previous work experience and a lack of quality education continue to be barriers to entry for many of South Africa’s youth, says Nathan Motjuwadi, executive: human resources at Capitec Bank.
Looking to government exclusively to solve the employment issues is not realistic, the private sector has a huge role to play in turning around South Africa’s employment statistics which currently stand at a whopping 27.1% of the South African work force.
Motjuwadi said that corporates need to rethink the way they employ and the way they view skills.
“While there are initiatives in place to close the gap between education and the needs of businesses, corporates need to do more. Job creation cannot be amplified without looking at how we train individuals so they can succeed in skilled, high paying jobs.”
He said that Capitec’s philosophy is to seek individuals with potential and then to develop these candidates to become future managers and leaders from within its employee base.
“We have programmes for every facet of employment – from maths and science programmes in schools, to bursary schemes for high school and university students to a graduate development programme and leadership training programmes for other employees.
“Once we employ someone, we believe in giving them the best possible chance of success.”
Motjuwadi said that if corporates want to see different results from education in South Africa, they are obligated to be more actively involved.
It employs university graduates in a permanent role within the organisation, allowing them to acquire skills and experience in all the business units of the bank before placing them in a position where they can excel.
This includes the finance, marketing, risk, IT, science, business development and credit departments as well as the human resources division.
The bank said it has seen employee retention improve by approximately 3% since the introduction of the graduate development programme.
Capitec said in its most recent financial report that it employs 13,774 people – up by 441 from the prior year.
It said that 2,124 were promoted to new or vacant positions, while as many as 10,006 employees were trained, and 444 received internal bursaries.