In the latest CHRO South Africa podcast, Elanie Kruger, the chief people officer of Tsebo Solutions Group, talks about the important role HR leaders should play in addressing the serious problem of youth unemployment.
There’s a worry that South Africa might soon have one of the highest rates of joblessness globally, especially among those aged 15–34. This unemployment issue causes many problems, like not having enough skilled workers in different areas, which hurts the country’s growth, development, and people’s ability to find work.
In the latest CHRO South Africa podcast, Elanie Kruger, chief people officer of Tsebo Solutions Group, talks about the important role HR leaders should play in addressing this very serious problem.
“If you look at the unemployment crisis, you can actually look at it from an internal perspective and an external perspective. So it’s very important for employees to feel that they have the required skills to do the job, that their jobs are safe, and that you create that environment for them, to excel and to grow. But from an external perspective, it’s also important to create opportunities and maybe, as a responsible employer, think differently about what you can do to alleviate unemployment in the country.”
In the episode, Elanie highlights that the main issue in South Africa is employability, where there is an inner quest for talent.
“The talent market is not full of people that we can actually employ: they lack the appropriate skills. And I think as businesses, we must become a bit more open-minded and not look for the perfect fit, but maybe look for the 80% fit, and then be open to actually developing them.”
Elanie also touches on the importance of learning and development as well as the importance of transformation within the business. She also stresses how important it is for companies to invest in employee training and development, going beyond the minimum requirement of spending one percent.
“If you look at our purpose, we say we develop people to serve people to uplift society. So the development of people is at the core of everything we do – we are a people business. That’s the main thing that we do. In 2022, we will have engaged more than 12,500 people in terms of skills, development programmes, and learnerships. You won’t always have funded learnerships: at times you might have unfunded learnerships. But if you’re really serious about transformation, you need to do more than just the bare minimum and requirements.”
Click here to hear the rest of the podcast.