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#YouthDay2021

#LetsBeReal

The youth need tangible solutions

Published: Jun 16, 2021 7:00:00 AM South Africa Standard Time

For Momentum Metropolitan Holdings (MMH), the commemoration of Youth Day is not something that is viewed with any type of trepidation. MMH approaches this day with its collective chest because of a decision that the Momentum Metropolitan Foundation (MMF) made in 2018. What decision? Let’s create the context first.

According to Statistics SA, the unemployment rate among South Africa’s youth (15-34 years) in the first quarter of 2021 was 46,3%, accounting for 59.5% of the total unemployed. In essence, close to one in every two youth who are part of the labour force were unemployed.

While this is a decrease from first quarter of 2020, when the youth accounted for 63,3% of total unemployed and youth unemployment was 59%, the trend over the last five years, in particular, paints a dire image of the situation young South Africans - and, therefore, South Africa - find themselves in.

Which brings us to the decision of the MMF to shift the focus when it came to corporate social investment. Whereas, previously, it was a disjointed approach that could only be characterised as ‘spray and pray’, the decision made was to focus solely on youth employability, which is defined, by the Oxford Learners Dictionary, as “the extent to which somebody has the skills, knowledge, attitude, etc. that make them suitable for paid work."

In the words of MMF chairman, Dan Moyane, at the time of redirection and refocus, “Employability and job creation is a national imperative for prosperity and we believe the time is ripe for this direction. Treating this crisis with anything less than the urgency it deserves would amount, in our view, to social negligence. What would our future look like if we fail these young people now, and allow them to become adults, parents and even grandparents without hope for themselves or their communities? Our job is to be a springboard for young people to a sustainable income; walk with them as they rise to create brighter futures for themselves, their families and communities.”

Since then, the CSI unit of Momentum Metropolitan Holdings has been deliberate in how to translate the positioning statement of the MMF into reality, namely “Here to enable the life aspirations and sustainable earning potential of youth through employment programmes and job placement.”

This has been accomplished with an aggressive, proactive and creative youth development strategy and a commitment to identifying and working, closely, with partners whose programmes are designed to make a tangible impact on the lives of young South Africans across the many communities across the country.

These are partners who, amongst other elements: are established, registered NPOs (or for-profits with social intent) with a proven track-record in development; are invested in social innovation and in creating their own sustainability, and; have youth skills training as a critical focus and programmes that are aligned with MMF’s own research-based design principles for youth employment programmes.

These are partners like Life Choices Coding Academy (Lca), the Quadpara Association Of South Africa, Rhiza Babuyile, Ubuntu Pathways, Wethinkcode_, Lulaway, ITvarsity and Sparrow Fet College.

These are partners who are involved at all stages of what is referred to as the ‘journey to employment, which consists of:

  • Job Readiness (Preparing for Employment) – personal grooming, interviewing skills, job searches, career guidance advice, personal development, etc
  • Employability – (Qualifying for Employment) – skills development, training and personal support
  • Job Placement (Employment and Sustained Support) – internships and learnerships, apprenticeships, permanent employment, career management and development and life-long learning.

Every day, for MMF, is youth day because the work does not stop when creating an environment for our South African to have access to opportunities to better themselves, their families, their communities and the country as a whole. We all have a responsibility to do this. Our futures depend on it.


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