For anyone between the ages of 15 and 35 years old, we are reminded that youth is fickle and passes by too quickly. Last year in July StatsSA published an unemployment rate of 34,2% for 25 to 34-year-olds was 34.2%, whereas and an alarming rate of 55.2% of 15 to 24-year-olds that did not have jobs.
Making up almost 40% of the South African population, the youth of South Africa face a different set of challenges today. The biggest disruptor of this century, COVID-19 has created a new world of fear and uncertainty.
Whether the circumstances are transient or will the way we work, learn and interact forever change. The question we can all reflect on is what can we learn from the past to make everyone’s future better for tomorrow?
Based on the June 16 events, now celebrated as #YouthDay in South Africa, the youngest influences managed to make an enormous impact on where we are today. How can we seize the opportunity peaceably and still be change-makers?
We will be battling the high unemployment rate, declining living conditions and a disrupted academic year in 2020. Gandhi said, “True education must correspond to the surrounding circumstances or it is not a healthy growth.”
As schools shut down during the lockdown, teachers and students were required to take their education online. Not everyone was prepared and the disparity of connectivity to the online world became a bright neon highlighted area on the accessibility to digital in the South African context.
For those that still have a job in essential services or working remotely are managing survivors guilt. The world needs to move to digital to be sustainable. As the youth continue to make their voices heard on 16 June, let us share beneficial information and spark transforming debates on social media.
The endeavour is not left to just one entity to take on. Only through multiple public and private partnerships can we embrace the change that we need to take on to leapfrog into the fourth industrial revolution.
As Obsidian Systems, we are a proudly South African company that shares the values of passion, respect, openness, family, integrity and trust. In response to the IT skills gap in South Africa, we completed a learnership in partnership with Red Hat and CTU and endeavour to grow junior consultants as part of our company mission.
In addition, as a natural extension to our clients and partners, we also offer training and skills development for your employees, depending on your needs these are customised for your organisation or certified courses standardised by our vendors.
Forbes listed some core skills in April amidst the chaos, it would be good to revisit these attributes whether you are an employer, employee or entrepreneur.
Be adaptable and flexible. Acquire technology skills. Awaken your creative thinking ability. Understand the power of data to guide you. Problem-solving skills are underrated. Digital and coding skills are essential services. Leadership skills along with emotional intelligence are defining.
For those who fall outside of the youth category, we also acknowledge that the skills are changing regularly requiring an attitude of continual learning to remain relevant in order to continue to add value to our own aspirations, company goals and customers.
In the hope that we can move forward and unite for the youth of today and the youth of tomorrow in a post-COVID-19 world. Let us define the challenges clearly and aim for a win-win outcome for South Africa.
Brand South Africa couldn’t have said it better: “Young South Africans say they will be celebrating this year’s Youth Day by standing up and confronting the challenges they face – just like their compatriots did in 1976.”
by Angela Ho