There are 5-million unemployed people in South Africa and the youth makes up 75% of South Africa’s unemployment rate. Job creation is primarily the responsibility of business, this according to EOH.
EOH has subsequently launched the “EOH Job Creation Initiative”, aimed at stimulating job creation by interacting with its customers, business partners and government.
The EOH Job Creation Initiative aims at promoting internship and training programmes and the repatriation of jobs offshored to other countries. Furthermore, the creation of jobs by offshoring services to other countries.
More importantly, this initiative aims at working with government to mobilise business to take advantage of government incentive schemes for job creation and also encourage business to invest more in SA which will result in job creation, especially considering that JSE-listed companies have R600-billion in cash.
Government’s role is to create the environment and incentives for business to thrive and create jobs. However, government can’t shoulder the burden and is definitely not able to employ more people. To its credit, government has already put in place schemes and incentives to encourage business, to develop business and to employ more people.
“Business in South Africa can’t think like its counterparts in developed countries, where they have responsibility primarily to their shareholders. In SA, business must have a much broader role which must include the well-being of our society,” says EOH CEO, Asher Bohbot.
“The interesting thing is that this kind of thinking is not in conflict with shareholder’s interest. It is more difficult to run a successful business in a failing society.”
“We estimate that SA is currently offshoring between 20 000 and 25 000 jobs. Our objective for the next three years is to assist government in bringing some 10 000 jobs back home. We also want to help in creating internships for 20 000 graduates and learnerships for 30 000 matriculants. EOH believes that SA is short of skills, rather than short of jobs. One set of skills equals one job,” says Bohbot.
“We have a need to skill our people, starting with school leavers and graduates through learnership and internship programmes. At EOH, we have 600 learners and interns who represent approximately 15% of our workforce.
“Theoretically, if every business in SA were to do the same, it would mean employment for hundreds of thousands of young South Africans. We believe that business needs to take up the role of further developing our youth, it’s good for our society and it’s good for business, this is our experience at EOH. We encourage business to do the same,” he explains.
Research shows that a youth without work experience has nearly no chance of ever finding a job whilst those with some work experience have nearly 80% chance of remaining employed.
“Business has a huge responsibility to do much more, not just for our country, but for business,” concludes Bohbot.