Pandemic opens skills development and youth employment opportunity Leave a comment

The news does not seem to improve. Not in South Africa, nor anywhere else in the world.

Businesses continue to be at risk, both from operational, sustainability and health perspective.

This worsens an already struggling economy which in turn affects the dire unemployment rate. Or does it?

“Make no mistake, the world is in an incredibly fragile position right now, but amid this constant state of anxiety we find ourselves in, we must look forward to what good can come from all this.

“From a skills development perspective, government’s much-needed intervention could be the catalyst to a shift in the current state of youth unemployment in our country,” said CEO at Skills Development Corporation Daniel Gibhard.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced in November that he plans to roll out a mass recruitment initiative across various sectors, including education, municipal infrastructure, and the national health department that aims to employ around 800 000 people.

“Despite these optimistic plans, this is not the only option for potential employment,” explained Gibhard.

“Learners need to prepare themselves for the workplace regardless of whether this be through government-funded initiatives or through dedicated skills development programmes.”


Gibhard encouraged individuals who are looking for an appropriate skills development placement, internship, learnership or work placement to consider the following amid the unemployment crisis:


• Curriculum vitae – these are important for potential employers or programme facilitators to gain insight into who the individuals are and where their strengths and weaknesses lie.

• Cover letter – too often the ease of chatbots built into company websites has incited an approach that may not necessarily be the best first impression when sending a message that simply says ‘hi’.
“Make a good first impression – address your communication clearly and tell the reader why you’re getting in touch,” said Gibhard.

• Focus on the opportunity not the paycheck – the current economic state has devastated families all over the world. Now is the time to embrace any opportunity that may present itself.

• Educate yourself – aside from the skills development companies that are offering work readiness learnerships and various other programmes, try and upskill yourself by exploring the various Microsoft, email or other specific programs that you may need to use in the environment you’re hoping to grow a career in.

• Meeting the requirements – often when there is a job spec or skills development programme being advertised or promoted, the company will include details on the minimum admission requirements. Read these carefully and ensure you have all the paperwork and copies of the necessary documents as chances are if one company is requesting this information, others will too.

• Dress for success – first impressions last. Ensure that when you meet your prospective employer, internship or skills development facilitator, your clothes and hair are neat and clean.

• Once online, always online – today it has become much easier to do a brief background check on an applicant by simply typing their names into Google or Facebook. Make sure the content these people are presented within the search results is in good taste and offers a brief peek into the type of person you would want them to meet.

Skills Development Corporation CEO Daniel Gibhard. Photo: supplied.

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