According to Statistics South Africa the country’s unemployment figure now stands at 25,06% and competition for jobs, particularly in sectors such as ICT, retail and manufacturing, is on the rise. HR and recruitment specialists believe that the more information about market expectation and available opportunities school leavers have access to, the better.

Teryl Schroenn, CEO of Accsys, says that whilst there are initiatives in place to guide and advise learners as far as career choice is concerned, it is clear that not all learners or academic institutions are adequately aware of the opportunities that exist.

Accsys is national supplier of people management software and hardware solutions within the HR, payroll and time & attendance space and a member of the BCX Group.

The company has an established recruitment division it calls Accsys PeoplePlace run by qualified professionals. It is also offers Africa’s first and currently only online National Qualification in Payroll Administration Services.

Aside from its commitment to skills development within the HR and payroll industries, every year, on a specific day in September, Accsys hosts learners from two schools in Johannesburg as part of the Cell C Bring a Girl Child to Work and Accsys Boys in Business initiatives.

According to Schroenn, academic institutions run open days and are doing their best to inform learners of the possibilities that exist when they leave school, aligned with aptitude testing and career guidance. However, more often than not, learners from more affluent institutions are exposed to more choices.

“There are efforts to provide learners with access to information and choices, but those from less affluent schools or who do not have exposure to the broader formal business market may not be aware of what is actually available,” Schroenn explains.

Although proximity has a great deal to do with career choice (i.e. the pursuit of a profession already in the family, for example) and this influences decisions, the reality is that there is a great deal more that can, and should be done, to empower work entrants.

Schroenn uses payroll as an example. There was a time when payroll was not considered a viable career prospect because of a lack of formal qualification and an area of business management not necessarily covered by academic institutions.

This has changed – but the question Accsys management asks is: do the youngsters who are formulating their plans on what to do and when, actually know this, as well as many other new choices.