Our youth, our passion
When you look back into South Africa’s history, there’s no doubt that our youth have been at the forefront of a number of societal issues, and perhaps the most momentous; the June 16 Soweto uprising in 1976 – in protest of the racial inequalities instituted by the government at the time.
Despite this however, today’s youth are facing one of their biggest hurdles – alarmingly high unemployment levels which puts their very future at risk. In fact, it’s been reported that about 48%* of South Africans aged between 15 and 34 are currently unemployed.
As Youth Month draws to a close in South Africa, where this year’s theme was “Advancing Youth Economic Empowerment” it is not only an opportune time for us to reflect on some of the challenges that South Africa’s youth are faced with today but that, as corporates, we take it upon ourselves to assume the role of responsible citizens to do our bit to help our youth tackle these issues.
For us at Itec SA, we believe that the youth form a critical pillar to the country’s future aspirations, driving forth a fresh approach to development and innovation. It is for this reason that youth upliftment remains a cause close to our hearts, and we believe that upskilling and training unemployed graduates is key to our country’s future.
We have therefore, over the years, implemented the Itec SA learnership initiative that aims to empower unemployed graduates as well as focuses on upskilling existing junior staff members. We currently have 7 unemployed graduates enrolled in the learnership programme that runs for a year, where 3 of these graduates are working in our workshop and are trained on how to refurbish printers; 2 are working in our IT department gaining knowledge on desktop support; 1 is working in the warehouse learning all aspects of logistics; and 1 is working in the finance department learning debtors and creditors functions. During their training period with us, they are trained for an end-user computing course – supported by practical work experience – to help them further their skills beyond just the theory. As part of our long term strategy, once the learnership period comes to an end, we identify areas where we can incorporate them into the Itec SA workforce.
As part of our passion for investing in South Africa’s youth, we have also been deeply rooted in supporting the Oxpecker Trail Run, given that it aligns strongly with our vision to invest in people and millennials within our communities – through body and mind – who are set to reshape corporate South Africa in a positive way. The race brings together young individuals from across the country to test their limits, demonstrate their strengths and gain a healthy outlook on life – where skills and a balanced life play an integral role in successful development.
Our passion for South Africa’s youth extends beyond just Youth month, and in fact, forms an aspect to our business’ success, one that we plan to uphold, maintain and expand in the future.