We are all aware of South Africa’s unemployment crisis. Our youth unemployment rate is at a record high, with StatsSA reporting the official unemployment rate in the first quarter of 2022 as 34,5%.
This is a national crisis that affects every single South African. When people become disenfranchised, they lose hope and stop actively seeking employment, which leads directly to a rise in social pressures and service delivery protests. This in turn is disruptive for business and compounds the pressures society faces and an ability to provide jobs.
The youth stats are even worse. StatsSA’s figures paint a stark picture: South Africa currently has over 10 million young people aged 15 to 24 years and only 2,5 million of these are in the labour force and regarded as youth in employment, education or training (NEET). That means 75% of youth are inactive, largely because of discouragement. In other words, they have lost hope of finding a job that suits their skills or in the area they reside.
This is intensified by the challenges of a digital future.
According to the World Economic Forum, 230 million jobs will require digital skills by 2030 in Africa. Without these digital skills in place, businesses will not be able to meet the growing digital demands facing every organisation, in every sector.
The Institute for Management Development (IMD) reveals that at the start of the pandemic, only 37% of South African businesses had a digital transformation strategy in place. Only 23.5% had a detailed strategy for remote working. Aligned with a lack of digital strategy is the ever-increasing need for digital skills. Xpatweb’s 2021 Critical Skills Survey shows that the demand for ICT skills remains unprecedented and climbing, as 14% of businesses say that they struggle to source skilled professionals to drive their operational demand to transition into the digital economy.
IT skills aren’t only limited to developers and programmers – all workers must now be able to operate in the virtual economy, which means basic and more advanced IT literacy has become critical.
Most South African businesses are still not adequately equipped in terms of digital skills – and without a strong focus on this area, this gap will only continue to widen.
Building South African workforces for the future
With every challenge comes incredible opportunity, however, and in this case two problems can be solved with one solution. South Africa has a large population of youth who can solve our skills crisis with the correct support and training. A focus on the digital skills required for the future gives them opportunities to enter the workforce as well.
In the current climate, taking your business to the next level means embracing the forward march of the technological revolution and ensuring that your business is not left behind – which means supporting the skills your business will need tomorrow.
This is not just a regulatory tick box – it is an opportunity to earn skills development points, support South Africa’s future workforce and future-proof your own organisation.
As a trusted training partner, Torque IT is passionate about making a global impact in the transformation of humanity’s productivity and lifestyle through quality authorised training, enablement, and certification solutions.
We deliver technology-enabled learnerships via our international partnerships as an authorised vendor for the top technology brands in the world. Our leading-edge IT expertise is helping learners meet their digital needs today, as well as the needs of tomorrow’s workforces.
Torque IT is recognised in the industry as having met rigorous standards for educational competency, service, customer satisfaction and investment in product technologies that will enable and certify the current, and future, generation of IT industry professionals.
As a country and as businesses, we cannot wait for our unemployment crisis to deepen, or for the future needs of technology-enabled businesses to be met. Training today will pave the way for more competitive workforces and businesses in the future.
Modern technology requires modern learning. Get in touch with Torque IT today!