South Africa 2016 – Fulfiling the Promise

Should South Africans be despondent that the low growth rate is far below that needed to employ new entrants to the job market?  The simple answer is YES and NO.

Yes, because it means that the low rate makes it even more difficult to catch up with the backlog of people who would like to work but cannot, a figure which is much greater than the reported unemployment rate.

And

No, because the level of development which has been attained could provide employment to far more people that are currently in gainful employment.

In other words, WHEN all potential jobs are filled there will be a dent in numbers of non-working people. At the same time the growth rate would automatically improve due to the multiplier effect.

This raises the question of just how do we get all those potential job opportunities matched to people who could fill them. In the opinion of FRRW Consulting the prime need would be to develop a climate of confidence among employers and consumers such that people, mainly employers, are comfortable enough to make decisions that involve taking on risk.  Of course, this would be a multi-faceted process.  Without going round in circles this needs certainty that the State is supportive and effective on the one hand and certainty that appropriate education will be provided to the young and not-so-young.

So it really is a circle.

Where to start?

It is FRRW Consulting’s view that the essential start is to know that the young emerging from a phase of education are equipped to cope in the modern world. They should be literate, numerate, able to cope with common bureaucratic requirements, understand how business works and understand what an employer is and what an employee is and their relationship.

NO, we are not referring to university graduates or even matriculants.

We are referring to children leaving PRIMARY schooling (ignoring the learner word!).  Only if these children are equipped with what amounts to functional coping skills will there be confidence that the future will be overtly better than the present, that future job entrants will be suited to whichever path they decide to follow.  Imagine how effective high schools would become and the calibre of graduates leaving university.

The nice thing about this suggestion is that no special extra funds are required.  We have an education framework and facilities, albeit needing some fixing; South Africa merely needs to ensure that those facilities are used to good effect and teachers deliver what the pupils are entitled to expect.

Our message? Take time to imagine the future – with confidence that South Africa will achieve growth and not with despondence.

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