Self-empowerment: Today’s students can invest in their futures by offering their time and skills in the workplace
Given the increase in South Africa’s unemployment rate to approximately 27%, the topics of education and skills development remain pertinent. And while there may not be any quick fixes to this problem, there are still avenues that offer young people the means to succeed, to generate an income, to utilise their skills, to gain knowledge and to contribute positively to the country’s economy.
In an effort to provide youth with the chance to gain first-hand work experience and develop valuable skills, Compuscan has committed to employing five University of the Western Cape students - who are working towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Data Analytics and Business Intelligence - as interns for a 12 month period.
In February 2017, these students – Noxolo Myeketsi, Tshepang Makhubedu, Yusuf Adams, Byran Titus and Dionah Tshabalala – began their journey as part of Compuscan’s data analytics team.
“It is our responsibility, within the private sector and at government level, to educate today’s youth about the various doors to opportunity that exist while they work towards a university education or follow other – equally fulfilling and important – career paths,” says Frank Lenisa, Director at Compuscan. “However, it is just as necessary that they are made aware of the responsibility that goes hand in hand with opportunities of any kind.”
Education in the Wild: Learning on the job and in the classroom
Compuscan encourages young people – particularly those who cannot currently afford university tuition fees and have not yet been able to secure a bursary or loan – to think outside the box, to use their talents and skills in an entrepreneurial sense or to give of their time and skills in return for valuable participation, and the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with gaining new knowledge and achieving goals that one has worked towards.
The internship will allow the chosen students to gain exposure to real-world challenges and opportunities as they learn more about innovative credit risk management solutions such as scoring, analytics and predictive modelling.
Noxolo Myeketsi sees the value of upskilling oneself in the workplace. “I believe that using your skills in the workplace while studying is very advantageous,” she says. “It gives you the opportunity to understand how your knowledge and skills fit into a specific field of work, as well as to broaden your abilities.”
Tshepang Makhubedu agrees, and has some words of wisdom for fellow students. “I would advise that those who seek to work while they are studying should set out clear objectives of why it is that they would like to do so. If it is to gain practical work experience in the field that they are studying towards, they should contact the relevant companies and pursue the chance to do work during holidays or part time. This will allow them to upskill themselves and, in some cases, to earn some money.”
Whether a work opportunity immediately results in an income or if it means the chance to gain skills which can be applied at a later stage, Compuscan urges youth to learn the value in saving, budgeting and spending wisely.
Lenisa concludes: “In all things, we encourage young people to think of the bigger picture, to plan wisely and to explore avenues that lead to skills development, growth and knowledge acquisition - to think of their futures and the future of our country, with hope and aspiration.”
For more information, contact dei Gratia on +27 701 1772 or at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Chrizane van Zyl on +27 21 888 6038 or at email@example.com., or visit www.compuscan.co.za.