Project to combat 48% youth unemployment in SA

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Youth unemployment rate in South Africa is currently 48%, according to the
latest Global Entrepreneur Monitor. It says, "The greatest challenge in fixing the
youth unemployment crisis is to create more jobs.'

A new private-public partnership will be launched in Benoni to combat youth
unemployment, especially among graduates, and to combat an accelerating rate of
small and medium business closures - a quarter million in the last five years. SMMEs
have traditionally employed three-quarters of those with jobs in South Africa.

Chairperson of the parliamentary Standing Committee on Appropriation, Elliot
Mshiyeni Sogoni, who will speak at the launch says, "The HRSS human resources
graduate internship programme is an innovative approach to job creation. The
placement of a dedicated HR resource at schools allows principals the time to focus
on managing their school and delivering quality education to our children. The impact
will be improved staff relations in schools resulting in an education system that all
South Africans can be proud of.'

In addition, HR graduates are being placed at SMME?s in a highly subsidized
programme to remove labour problems from SMME?s. Global Entrepreneur Monitor 2012
notes that a staggering array of labour laws is one of the biggest time and cost
wasters for SMMEs. Marjie Harrington, CEO of HR Support Solutions said that by the
time the project is launched on Monday, May 6, the third batch of HR graduates will
be in training and a hundred interns will already be hard at work across Gauteng.

"By September our graduates will be drawn from, and working in schools and
SMMEs across South Africa.' She says that, "A year ago I realized there were
thousands of talented HR graduates without work, and at the same time over-
extended school principals were battling to run schools.

"The answer was to create a win:win situation for both - train graduates to act as
paid interns at schools. They earn valuable employment experience and remove some
of the burden from principals.'

The importance of getting unemployed graduates to work is highlighted by the
Global Entrepreneur Monitor that shows that the "percentage of South Africa?s
population that have attained tertiary education is just 0.6%, lower than the sub-
Saharan average of 0.78% and the world average of 3.94% (Africa Competitiveness
Report 2011).'

Harrington said, "South African education has come under attack for low grades.
We hope that by freeing up school principals from the hours that human resources
management can take, they will guide teachers in their schools. And we hope that
this in turn, will have a positive impact on educational outcomes in South Africa.'
* Media are invited to the launch of this project at Benoni Library conference centre,
Corner of Elston Avenue and Tom Jones Street Benoni, 9am, Monday, 6 May 2013.