PwC elaborates on the importance of Youth Month in South Africa today

25 June 2019 2 min. read
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In the midst of a sea of Youth Month initiatives, global professional services firm PwC has indicated that cultivating young talent in South Africa is more crucial than ever in the contemporary scenario, particularly as the country risks losing a large portion of its talent to foreign markets. 

The South African economy has arrived at a stable place in its development after a number of years of economic struggle. The objective amongst policy makers and the private sector alike is now to project the South African economy on to the global stage by improving its international competitiveness.

Crucial to realising this objective is developing the skills to offer services at a global standard, particularly amongst the younger segments of society. South Africa has been emphasising this need for a number of years now, and the country celebrates Youth Month in June every year to fight the socio-economic obstacles hindering youth progress.

South Africa has a young population, which is a promising indicator for the country’s economic prospects in the future. However, the potential of this young workforce is far from being realised, primarily due to high inequality levels and a staggeringly high unemployment rate.

Youth Month South Africa

PwC has called for this situation to be rectified, particularly as the shifting skill profiles required in the international market poses the risk of pushing greater numbers into unemployment. The talent that is present in the South African market is migrating to foreign markets in search of better working conditions.

Youth across the globe is displaying a similar trend, as the new workplace expectations amongst millennials pushes them to seek better opportunities in various parts of the globe. PwC’s efforts towards a solution include a number of initiatives that include the firm’s ‘Foundation for the Future’ and ‘skilled for the future’ programmes, which allows for mentoring and skill development.

Commenting on the scenario, Shirley Machaba of PwC Africa said, “This is an important time for businesses, educators, government and other stakeholders to reflect on and consider our efforts to upskill and prepare young people for the workplace.”

Machaba has recently been appointed the first ever female CEO of PwC Southern Africa, and is additionally tasked with leading Diversity & Inclusion for PwC Africa. “This is the time for government, businesses and other stakeholders to work together to uplift the development of our young people,” she added.