SA HR news roundup: Plans to address youth unemployment continue despite Covid-19 third wave

Youth employment and job creation takes centre stage as the country commemorates Youth Day.

Investment in work readiness programmes and plans to create pathways for youth to enter the economy dominated the headlines this week. Meanwhile, ruling party staff take their salary and retrenchment concerns public during a picket and NUM announces its intention to march against retrenchments, labour brokers and outsourcing in Mpumalanga.

Pathways into the economy
President Cyril Ramaphosa launched SAYouth.mobi, the national pathway management network, on Youth Day.

Under the theme “The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke: Growing youth employment for an inclusive and transformed society”, the day marked 45 years since the uprising by school students against the mandatory use of Afrikaans as a medium of instruction under apartheid.

The National Pathway Management Network brings together eight government departments, led by the department of employment and labour, to form a network that will support young people to find pathways into the economy, according to Ramaphosa.

ANC staff picket
Representatives of the ANC’s 346 staff staged a picket in protest against the late payment of salaries and the party’s failure to pay medical aid and provident fund contributions.

This is the first time that ANC staff have protested against the governing party since its unbanning and the opening of offices in South Africa in 1990, reports The Daily Maverick.

Spokesperson Pule Mabe said the party had a plan in place to pay the provident fund and medical aid contributions. There would be no salary reductions, but retrenchments were likely.

Thousands trained for retail readiness
Retail chain Shoprite Group has spent more than R700 million over the past five years on skills development and training programmes for unskilled and unemployed youth.

It has trained 24,308 people through its retail readiness programme, provided 1,027 bursaries and trained 5,765 young people, over the past three years, in the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme.

NUM plans march
The National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) Highveld Region plans to march against retrenchments, outsourcing, use of labour brokers and the increasing unemployment in Mpumalanga.

The march, expected to be held on 15 July 2021, is aimed at power utility Eskom, as well as diversified miners South32, Seriti Resources, AngloCoal, Exxaro Resources and mining contractors in the province, the trade union says.

Young engineers are the future
The chairperson of the South African Institution of Civil Engineering's young members panel, Michael Mhlanga, believes young engineers are the future custodians of South Africa’s infrastructure and should be supported in their personal and professional development.

Continuous education, mentorship, and networking are key building blocks for young engineers to ensure they have the necessary skills and experience to overcome the challenges of the future, he said.