The Covid pandemic has exacerbated the critical unemployment crisis in South Africa, but even more so amongst the youth.
Prior to the pandemic, the unemployment rate (including people who had given up looking for work) was just under 70% for people aged 15 to 24. A year later, the rate had increased to 74% (StatsSA).
“The reality is that the youth do not have the means or the skills to better their lives, without significant assistance from the private sector,” explains Johan Engelbrecht, group CEO at Atvance Academy, an institution dedicated to providing saleable skills for students and employers.
“What we offer is that link between business and employees. Our corporate sponsors enable us to train potential employees, who may not have advanced much beyond Grade 10, at no cost to the students – a win-win scenario.
“These organisations are committed to developing the skills of young South Africans, as part of a mutually beneficial relationship, whereby they get significant value in the form of a competent employee and a boost to their B-BBEE score. However, they often find it difficult to provide the resources, time, and knowhow to train these young people, which is where Atvance Academy steps in.
“We provide training to around 30 000 South African learners every month, in over 250 campuses across the country through key courses that are immediately of use to employers.”
Mindful of the need to embrace the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), Atvance Academy includes awareness of the digital needs of employers in its curriculum. Courses include:
* Business Administration Services: National Certificate, (NQF 3)
* Contact Centre Support: National Certificate (NQF 2)
* Environmental Practice: National Certificate (NQF 2)
* Information Technology- Technical Support: FET Certificate, (NQF 4)
* New Venture Creations: National Certificate, (NQF 2)
* Occupational Health, Safety and Environment: National Certificate (NQF 2)
* Project Support Service: National Certificate (NQF 3)
* Wholesale and Retail Operations: National Certificate (NQF 2)
“Our target market is 18-27 years old, currently unemployed, young South African citizens, who have a desire to build up their careers, contribute to the country’s economic growth and give South Africa a brighter future,” says Engelbrecht.
“We work with community leaders, community centres, libraries and schools to help us open campuses in their local areas. This allows us to make education affordable and convenient and brings us closer to our goal of training 80 000 learners a year.”