Temporary employment services seek to address youth unemployment
BOKSBURGADVERTISER / 03 AUGUST 2019 - 11.09 / STAFF REPORTER
“For many young people who begin their careers with temporary employment services, the valuable exposure, skills, references and experience gained across different organisations and industries, enables them to apply for and secure long-term employment.”
Recently released stats indicated that the South African economy contracted in the second quarter of 2019 and unemployment rose.
According to Johnny Goldberg, COO of the Confederation of Associations Private Employment Sector (Capes), most worrisome is the unprecedented level of unemployment among youth, which sits at a staggering 55.20 per cent and remains our country’s most serious socio-economic concern.
“Pressure from the youth has steadily escalated with movements like #FeesMustFall and calls for the scrapping of experience requirements in junior jobs as these are recognised as major barriers to youth entering the workplace,” said Goldberg.
“Government has responded by indicating the removal of experience criteria for entry-level public sector jobs, extensions to NFAS funding for more students and partnerships with business including Yes4Youth.”
He said economic pressures and growing impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) have seen pressure placed on organisations and workers with skills requirements changing faster than curricula and an increase in the scope of flexible work opportunities.
“The temporary employment services (TES) industry, often criticised as creating a casualisation of labour, is in fact rather an enabler of 4IR workplace realities, facilitating the development and transition of work-ready skills for organisations and workers,” said Goldberg,
He said research by Professor Haroon Bhorat of the Development Policy Research Unit at the University of Cape Town clearly shows that the TES industry employs and absorbs youth at a higher rate than any other sector in SA.
“Acting as a bridge to the workplace, the TES sector provides work readiness programmes and is one of the largest skills development facilitators, enabling the youth to access employment.
“The age-old challenge of getting a job without experience, but having no job to provide said experience, is often solved by the temporary and contract opportunities facilitated by TES.
Goldberg said the TES and private employment agencies industries are currently self-regulated, although the Employment Services Act will require licensing with Department of Labour once s13 is promulgated.
“It is illegal for agencies to charge fees of any kind and workers are reminded to report any that do.
“Agencies that belong to associations under Capes are not only audited to ensure full compliance with all prevailing legislation but are also bound to strict codes of ethics and professional practice.”
“Workers, particularly youth who might be more vulnerable as a result of their lack of experience, are encouraged to work via agencies who belong to these associations.”
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER