EQUIPPING OUR YOUTH TO BE GEARED TOWARDS GREATER DEVELOPMENT AND EMPLOYABILITY
While Workers Day is a day celebrated worldwide, it has a particularly important message here in South Africa. It is a reminder of the real power of the South African spirit. But as we celebrate our work force, the reality of unemployment, especially amongst our youth creeps in.
According to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), more than 10% of the graduates aged 25–34 years could not find a job, despite their education in the first quarter of 2018. The burden of unemployment is also concentrated amongst the youth as they account for 63.5% of the total number of unemployed persons. This means that South Africa needs to provide the youth with the necessary opportunities towards greater development and employability, thereby creating a pool of talent that feeds into the country’s work force.
Through the provision of training programmes, bursaries, learnerships, internships as well as partnerships with universities, Total South Africa contributes to youth development and employability as they take youth on a journey of education and workplace experience.
Starting at the foundation – Providing bursaries that empower the youth of South Africa
As an advocate for quality education, Total South Africa annually awards up to ten bursaries to youth who require financial assistance for full-time tuition at a Further Education and Training (FET) college or university in order to obtain a formal qualification. The company’s intention is to provide growth opportunities to develop talent which feeds into its internship programme and Young Talent Graduate Programme. These bursaries are awarded to previously disadvantaged individuals on merit, provided they have maintained an average grade of more than 65% on all subjects.
To further create opportunities by means of bursaries, Total South Africa also partners with universities to maximise results. The company entered into partnership agreements with the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) as well as the University of Namibia. Since 2010, selected students have been receiving full scholarship bursaries covering full tuition and textbook costs.
The partnerships provide students as well as the University staff members with the opportunity to participate in conferences, symposia and international meetings regarding the oil and gas technology industry. They also further enable them to collaborate in the development and delivery of conferences relating to the fields of oil and gas exploration techniques. The agreement also covers funding for the Masters programme in petroleum engineering at both universities.
On the job training for graduates through Total South Africa’s internship programme
Total South Africa also offers a 12-month workplace internship programme for unemployed learners who have concluded their studies successfully in a defined scarce and/or critical skill and who need workplace exposure. The programme integrates academic preparation with professional challenges where graduates are exposed to different teams and projects, and a diverse way of thinking. Internships are offered across various areas of business, both in specialised engineering and the broader fields of commerce.
As an extension to the internship programme, the company offers five South African graduates an experience to work in a global environment - in both Africa and Paris - for a period of one year to gain international exposure in their chosen field.
The above are just a few of the initiatives employed by Total South Africa that contributes towards the up-skilling and education of the country’s youth and addressing the country’s skills shortage in key economic sectors in South Africa and Africa.
“This Workers’ Day Total South Africa not only celebrates their already existing workforce, but we celebrate the talent of our youth, the future of our country and our company. At Total South Africa we aim to create opportunities and open doors for those who are passionate about moving South Africa forward,” says Pierre-Yves Sachet, CEO and Managing Director at Total South Africa.