Overcoming Socio-economic challenges through learnerships and internshipshttps://www.heartsolutions.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/16530063-Abstract-word-cloud-for-Socioeconomics-with-related-tags-and-Stock-Photo-981x1024.jpg 981 1024 Amanda Amanda https://secure.gravatar.com/avatar/a42289d62a67f4247ca0875d5599d1de?s=96&d=mm&r=g
Socio-economic challenges feed unemployment
As South Africans, we are faced with numerous socio-economic challenges such as drugs and teenage pregnancies and the reality is that things are not getting better. Our unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2017 was 27.7%. This is the highest unemployment rate observed since September 2003 as reported by Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey – QLFS Q1:2017. Could learnerships and internships be a solution to the problem?
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Could learnerships and internships be a solution to the problem?
We can choose to bury our heads in the sand, blame, and complain or we can choose to do something about it. As citizens and corporates, it is our responsibility to take care of our country and our people because that is the right thing to do.
Donating money to a charitable cause is an option but what is even better it to equip someone with the skills and knowledge through internships and learnerships so that they are employable or able to generate their own income. Over time the positive socio-economic impacts at large can be profound if organisations of all sizes invest in skills development through learnerships and internships and create opportunities for people to become economically active.
A learnership or internship programme, just like the many we offer, for unemployed and/or disabled learners is a very effective way of making a real contribution towards overcoming the socio-economic challenges faced in SA. The monthly stipend enables learners to attend to their training and places of work. The income, even though it’s not a lot, helps to meet their basic needs. Learners who successfully complete the learnership programme obtain a nationally recognised qualification and this enables them to apply for positions and access the job market. At a personal level, the learners get their self-worth back and are hopeful about their futures.
Millennials have so much to offer organisations
Another alternative for organisation’s to make a difference is through internship programmes which gives graduates the opportunity to gain workplace experience. The practical component is compulsory and the internship participants are reliant on organisations for assistance. Millennials have so much to offer organisations. They are technologically savvy, diverse, confident, and team orientated to name but a few of their characteristics. It is therefore a win-win for both parties.
Both initiatives require structured workplace experience and skills application tasks. The workplace mentor plays an important role in supporting learners and creating opportunities for exposure to do meaningful tasks that are aligned with the qualification outcomes. These meaningful tasks give learners a sense of achievement which positively impacts on their performance and health.
Make a more meaningful and fulfilling contribution
As one can see, overcoming socio-economic challenges takes a lot more than offering once-off contributions. Make a more meaningful and fulfilling contribution and take greater social responsibility to help provide unemployed learners and graduates with an opportunity to access the job market and become economically active through learnership and internship participation and inclusion.