Outsourcing, a potential solution to South Africa’s unemployment woes

As of the second quarter of 2017 South Africa’s unemployment rate is at 27,7 per cent, the highest it has been since 2003.

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Managing director of Innovative Staffing Solutions, Arnoux Maré shared his opinion of how this problem could be fixed:”This figure can only be reduced through sustainable development, which is underpinned by quality education.”

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According to Maré, SA possesses one of the most unequal societies in the world, despite having the second largest economy in Africa. This can be substantiated if one looks at Gini Index estimates released by the World Bank as well as research done by Statistics South Africa.

According to the estimates, SA is the most unequal country when it comes to income distribution.Research done by Statistics South Africa found that the richest 20 per cent of the population account for more than 65 per cent of consumption, while the bottom 20 per cent account for less than three per cent.

Maré indicated that the education system is not helping the matter:

“The situation is worsened by our education system, which is characterised by a high dropout rate among high school learners, and a curriculum that does not imbue learners with the skills and knowledge they need to be able to enter the job market.”

This situation is not likely to improve with the dawn of the fourth industrial revolution, which will require a different set of skills from the workforce.

Maré believes that the issue of unemployment can be traced back to a lack of jobs as well as a shortage of skills in the workplace:”In some instances, corporate South Africa is unable to fill various positions with adequately skilled people. While there is an obvious shortage of skills in highly skilled professions such as engineering, accounting and finance, there is an even greater dearth of skills in the semi-skilled job arena.”

In response to this, Maré suggested that companies should outsource their skills requirements to organisations which handle workforce requirements for their clients:

“This is a powerful way in which corporate South Africa can help address the skills shortage. If employers no longer require the services of the outsourced staff members, said staff will not find themselves out of work.They will be placed at another employer or upskilled for a different opportunity. This makes for a sustainable workforce that is assured of continued employment coupled with acquiring new, and often more relevant, skills. By moving them into new roles, opportunities are thus created for more people to enter the job market and to further benefit from improved proficiency.”

Information provided by Innovative Staffing Solutions.

Keegan Frances

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