The tendency for employers to hire candidates with internship and work experience has propelled Trade and Investment KwaZulu-Natal (TIKZN) to stamp its authority in education and youth development.
Recognising the importance of internships in setting the foundation of an individuals career, TIKZN has launched an internship programme in partnership with the South African Council for Graduates Co-operatives (SACGC) earlier this month.
SACGC is a co-operatives and graduates council established to grow a high calibre of youth and facilitate advancement of graduate cooperatives as viable economic entities to fast-track job creation, foreign direct investment and skills transfer and grow the economy in municipalities and rural areas.
It is a council established to provide skills development innovation, support, monitoring and evaluation as per the dictates of the Skills Development Act 97 of 1998 and in accordance with the mandate of the National Skills Development Strategy and any subsequent post school education and training policies in South Africa.
TIKZNs vision is to be the leader in developing and promoting export trade in KwaZulu-Natal and to position the province as a premier destination for investment.
In line with TIKZNs mandate to promote, brand and market KwaZulu-Natal as an investment destination and promote trade and export activities, opportunities exist through the programme for graduates to be developed and absorbed into the formal working space.
Zamo Gwala, Chief Executive Officer of TIKZN, expressed his gratitude to Thamsanqa Maqubela, Chairperson of the Economic Participation & Transformation Work Stream of the Presidential Youth Working Group, for his contribution towards fulfilling the dream of an African child. The SACGC is a member of the Presidential Youth Working Group.
Gwala emphasised the importance of empowering graduates through the internship programme which will assist in obtaining formal employment and catapulting their careers. In the light of a dwindling economy, employment opportunities are few and far between. So all organisations have a responsibility to give back to the community and assist graduates to climb the employment ladder.
It is important for young graduates to build their networks when joining an organisation as this will help them to flourish in their respective careers. Communication is key to increasing ones prominence and visibility in the workplace, said Gwala.
He emphasised the need for company databases to be kept up-to-date at all times which is where graduates can play an influential role. He also outlined the services of each business unit of TIKZN and the importance of synergizing and supporting each business unit in the fulfilment of the mandate and vision of the organisation.
Maqubela touched on the importance of grooming young people for the benefit of their future. SACGC has partnered with TIKZN to accelerate the placement of graduates in the workplace through experiential training and also to obtain funding for the stipend.
With over 300 000 unemployed graduates in South Africa and close to 200 000 college and university students seeking workplace training, partnerships such as the one between SACGC and TIKZN will help to bridge the unemployment gap.
He emphasized the importance of learning - 85% of internship time must be dedicated to learning and development. It is also equally important to have respect for the environment in which you work and for fellow colleagues.
Attitude and behaviour is imperative - as interns, punctuality and respect for an organisations rules will go a long way in determining your overall success as an individual, said Maqubela.
The initiative also complements governments drive to accelerate radical economic transformation and the achievement of the National Development Plans objective of creating 11 million jobs by 2030.ENDS