Every year we commemorate International Youth Day on the 12th of August. The purpose of the day is to draw attention to a given set of cultural and legal issues surrounding youth. According to UNESCO, “Only 23% of tech jobs are held by women globally”, this inequality is mirrored in South Africa”.
Reports show that more than 34 per cent of young people, aged 15-24, are not in education, training or employment across South Africa. With COVID-19 threatening to increase this number, PwC and UNICEF South Africa announced their three-year collaboration in support of Generation Unlimited.
Generation Unlimited is a multi-sector partnership aimed at helping 1.8 billion young people transition from school to work by 2030. PwC and UNICEF will be preparing young people with relevant skills to enter the workforce. The collaboration will provide a specific focus on girls and young women who often miss out on developing ICT skills. Upon acquiring the skills, the ladies will also be encouraged to become entrepreneurs in the age of the fourth industrial revolution.
“This is a critical time for the business community, educators, government and other stakeholders to contribute collectively to the development of our young people. Our collaboration with UNICEF will expose young people to diverse digital skills and broaden their knowledge and expertise for the future workplace. We believe that together we can make an exponential difference by helping uplift and prepare the youth for tomorrow’s new workforce,” said Dion Shango, CEO for PwC Africa.
Muriel Mafico, UNICEF South Africa Deputy Representative said, “Now is the time to invest in young people. This collaboration with PwC is vital to help provide digital and transferable skills that young people have identified as being critical for their future growth and prosperity”.
PwC will support three key areas:
1. Improve young people and employers’ access to information and services about learning opportunities through a new data management platform.
2. Bolster the Techno Girls and Naspers Labs programmes, supported by UNICEF, to expand opportunities for young girls to access science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics (STEM) related skills and work opportunities. This will be done by scaling up the programme and delivering the experience virtually.
3. Enhance existing entrepreneurship programmes and related training curricula in partnership with the University of Pretoria.