The National Employers’ Association of South Africa and BE YOUR DREAM project have joined forces in a unique partnership aimed at empowering young people in realising their potential. We want to create an environment that will allow the youth to start dreaming again while using various platforms to educate them about the skills needed to make a positive contribution to the labour market.
‘As the largest employers’ association in the country, we’ve always wanted to contribute to the preparation of young people for the job market. This partnership affords us the opportunity to directly interact with parents and learners about the necessary tools needed to eventually make a contribution to South Africa’s workforce,’ says Gerhard Papenfus, NEASA CEO.
The latest World Economic Forum Global Risk report shows that South Africa has the third highest unemployment rate in the world for people between the ages of 15 to 24. More than 50% of young people in this age bracket are unemployed. NEASA views government’s plans to address this crisis as insufficient and also beliefs that the current education system is contributing to the current skills dilemma.
"This partnership with BE YOUR DREAM affords NEASA and its 23 000 members the opportunity to invest in South Africa’s future leaders, employers and employees. The partnership also sends the message that by taking responsibility for your own future, notwithstanding your current circumstances, you can through hard work and dedication secure a fulfilled life for yourself,’ Papenfus said.
The BE YOUR DREAM project is driven by artist, Anais, and aims to install a sense of hope among young people. The project includes amongst others a 24 hour Lifeline hotline, weekly visits to schools, bursary schemes and a reality television series.
‘A sense of negativity has taken hold of society at large and at times with good reason, however, this should not be a crippling factor when it comes to securing a prosperous future. Role-players in society should join hands in ensuring a mind shift amongst the youth so that they realise that discipline and hard work is the only route to success. Take responsibility for your own future,’ says Anais.
Anais and the BE YOUR DREAM team visit about 12 000 learners per month in schools around the country. NEASA will join the group during these visits to provide essential information from a potential employer’s perspective. NEASA will engage its more than 23 000 members for potential internships and scholarships. Learners will also be identified as potential candidates for a number of bursaries annually.
‘In February this year BE YOUR DREAM and NEASA will visit New York in the USA to negotiate study bursaries from a leading institution for a number of young South African candidates. The candidates will be afforded the opportunity to study at this leading academy and use the experience to launch their careers locally,’ says Anais.
Both NEASA and BE YOUR DREAM are excited about the potential their partnership has to change the future prospects of young people around the country. Securing the future well-being of South Africa’s youth is everybody’s business.
For more information:
Sya van der Walt-Potgieter
NEASA Media Liaison
082 332 9512