Director of Malander Placement, Lyle Malander says the scraping of mandatory experience from entry-level jobs will go beyond getting young people into the world of work. It will equip more youth with business skills to assist them in entering the world of entrepreneurship.
“In a South African society plagued by unemployment, struggling Small to Medium and Micro Enterprises and 55.20% of young people sitting idle, the exclusion of job experience as a prerequisite for employment will open up the boundaries for more people to become employed. However, based on the current job market, there might not be an overwhelming number of new employees on the work scene, but those hired without prior working familiarity will receive skills and business experience which can be fuel for their entrepreneurship quest,” Malander says.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for private and public companies to do away with job experience for all entry-level jobs in the country, saying it acted as a hindrance for prospective employees.
But Malander says companies still prefer to hire someone with some level of experience as the training of new recruits is timely and money consuming.
External Recruitment Head at Malander Placements, Lindelwa Nkosi, says attitude is often the biggest selling point with new recruits.
“When candidates have adopted a learning attitude and are willing to push themselves and their worldview, some organisations are willing to overlook the lack of experience. But this differs based on the various industries. Some industries where there’s the operation of heavy machinery, experience is required to ensure that the candidate can do the job without endangering themselves and those around them. But again, if a prospective employee has the right attitude, employers might be willing to incur the costs of upskilling someone with no prior experience,” says Nkosi.
“As a recruitment and placement company, we see the challenges in placing young people without on-the-job experience. Due to companies needing to invest time and money when hiring level entry employees, organisations need to be incentivised to hire more young people who may have textbook knowledge but not business knowledge of the environment they work in,” Malander continues.
To deal with this, Ramaphosa introduced the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI) to encourage companies to employ more young people. The incentive decreases the cost of hiring young people by reducing the amount of Pay-As-You-Earn owed by the employer to the South African Revenue Services without affecting the employees’ wage.
To complement the ETI, Ramaphosa also presented the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative, a collaboration between government and business which will see both parties creating 330 000 jobs in the programme’s first year. The initiative aims to create a million work experience opportunities for young people over the next three years.
But Malander says despite programmes such as the YES initiative, South Africa’s unemployment rate still sits at 27.60%.
“Those figures are high by any base of comparison, especially when looking at other countries similar to South Africa’s economic bracket. Entrepreneurship is born out of necessity and the way things stand; more young people will be branching off into starting their own businesses. The scraping of the prerequisite experience will benefit young people immensely by offering them business experience and an understanding of how businesses function and where the gaps for entrepreneurship lie,” Malander concludes.
Malander Placement is a subdivision of the Malander Group, an advisory firm which has a core focus in providing Finance, Human Capital and Information Technology solutions to a variety of clients.