The internship programme is borne out of a desire to give youth a fighting chance in this tough economy
Vodacom Limpopo region is announcing today that it has struck a partnership with the Wholesale and Retail Sector Education and Training Authority (W&RSETA) and Sekhukhune TVET College to provide 216 post-graduate training and internship opportunities for scores of young graduates who come from poor backgrounds in that province. Limpopo province has one of the highest unemployment rates among youth in the country.
The commitment by Vodacom Limpopo comes at a time when official statistics paint a gloomy picture about joblessness among the country’s youth. According to Statistics SA Q1:2020 report, there are 20.4 million young people aged 15-34 years in the country. These young people account for 63.3% of the total number of unemployed persons. The unemployment rate within this group was 43.2% in Q1:2020.
W&RSETA is investing over R12 million in this programme that will benefit 216 graduates in workplace experience opportunities with Vodacom over a period of 12 months.
Imran Khan, Managing Executive for Vodacom Limpopo said: “There are growing expectations for big business to serve a social purpose in South Africa today, and to use their resources and core capabilities to make a meaningful contribution to the society. The calls for South Africa’s corporate sector to assist have grown during these COVID-19 times, with various sectors of our economy urging local companies to collaborate with government to help the public sector as it grapples with many socio-economy challenges.”
“At Vodacom we recognise that we have a purpose to provide societal value through our core business activities. The 216 internship opportunities we are creating today in partnership with W&RSETA are borne out of a desire to give youth a fighting chance in this tough economy.”
The programme will be running for 12 months and graduates will be deployed in different areas within the business such as Vodacom Stores, Customer Care, Marketing, Consumer Business Unit and Enterprise Business Unit division, Vodacom ICT Centers, to mention a few. Graduates will earn a monthly stipend. The 12 months programme is designed such that graduates gain exposure to business, strategy formulation and implementation, and decision making at the highest levels of Vodacom Limpopo region.
Sipho Shoba, Senior Regional Manager W&RSETA said: “The W&RSETA is committed to the upliftment of young people in South Africa through its various skills development programmes that are aimed at preparing young people for the world of work. We commend Vodacom for its contribution towards youth development through this partnership with the W&RSETA. Vodacom is heeding the call of government to turn workplaces into training spaces. This initiative will contribute towards addressing the rising unemployment rate among young people, by equipping them with the skills that meet the demands of business.”
Getting a drivers licence has become a critical requirement for job seekers. Through programme, Vodacom will help graduates to obtain a driver’s licences by the time they complete the 12 months programme.
The announcement comes a time when the National Income Dynamics Study - Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey released on 15 July show that 3 million South Africans lost their jobs after first month of Covid-19 lockdown.
“We do understand that youth development is essential in closing the gap of youth unemployment and reducing the poverty gap. We hope the young people from the province will grab the opportunity and use it as a stepping stone towards the realisation of their dreams and reaching their full potential,” concluded Khan.