BLSA and partners help address unemployment

outh Africa’s unemployment rate is at an alarming 35.3%, according to Statistics South Africa’s 2021 fourth quarter Quarterly Labour Force Survey.

“Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), through their Beyond Advocacy Fund (BAF), have partnered with Afrika Tikkun Services to work towards alleviating unemployment,” says Olivier Serrao, executive of strategy at BLSA.

He says BAF represents the South African private sector’s aspiration to move “beyond advocacy” and towards deeper public-private dialogue and cooperation to jointly address strategic socio-economic challenges facing the country.

Afrika Tikkun Services creates sustainable economic empowerment through skills training, job placement and entrepreneurship. It is a Level 2 Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) advisory, recruitment, training and placement company, supporting the full integration of youth employability and placement solutions in organisations.

With the assistance of BAF, Afrika Tikkun Services is providing, to a total of 364 students, digital skills training in desktop technology, data analyses, software development, the Internet of things, cybersecurity and Azure artificial intelligence.

A total of 364 students have completed their training and 260 have been placed in various jobs.

Sylvester Mpho from Sebokeng in Gauteng, who initially worked in sales, says he needed a career change that would equip him for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR). He applied for training at Afrika Tikkun  which has made a positive impact on his life and career.

“I did the Microsoft desktop technician training and have since gained all the relevant skills and knowledge I will need to be a desktop technician specialist. This opportunity has opened a lot of doors for me.  It will also allow me to give back to my community and empower them with my IT skills,” says Mpho.

Another student, Valenda Katlego from Gauteng, says she has always been passionate about cybersecurity so when she received the opportunity for training, she grabbed it with both hands.

“I have learnt a lot as an individual in the cybersecurity field. It has offered me a great view of how the world is changing. It is a fascinating field. Even though it can be challenging, I’m glad to say I have finally found something I’m very passionate about,” says Katlego.

Onyi Nwaneri, Afrika Tikkun Services CEO, says that with South Africa’s drive towards 4IR, the organisation is determined to equip young people, particularly those from vulnerable communities, with skills to make the most of what this digitally advanced world offers.

She adds that partnering with initiatives such as BAF, where a shared vision is realised, is truly inspiring and shows that they are moving in the right direction.  “Afrika Tikkun Services is honoured to be able to impact the lives of young people through the funding received from BAF,” she says.

BLSA CEO Busisiwe Mavuso says: “BLSA together with USAID are committed to helping address the high unemployment rate in South Africa. Afrika Tikkun Services is such a great organisation — with most countries deep within the 4IR field, the digital skills offered to these young people will help them get employment and even help them start their own ITC companies.”

For further information, please contact Tumelo Muteme at tmuteme@businessleadership.org.za.

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