Categorized | Skills development

Self-empowerment: Today’s students can invest in their futures by offering their time and skills in the workplace

Left to right_Byran Titus, Tshepang Makhubedu, Dionah Tshabalala, Noxolo...Given the increase in South Africa’s unemployment rate to approximately 27% as per Stats SA, the topics of education and skills development remain pertinent. While there aren’t necessarily any quick fixes to this problem that the country faces, there are indeed avenues that offer young people the means to succeed, to generate an income, to utilise their skills, to gain knowledge and to contribute positively to South Africa’s economy.


Comments Frank Lenisa, Director at Compuscan: “It is our responsibility – within the private sector and at government level – to educate today’s youth about the various doors to opportunity that exist while they work towards a university education or follow other – equally fulfilling and important – career paths. However, it is just as necessary that they are made aware of the responsibility that goes hand in hand with opportunities of any kind.”


In an effort to provide youth with the chance to gain first-hand work experience and develop niche skills, Compuscan has committed to employing five students, currently enrolled with the University of the Western Cape, as interns for a 12 month period. They are currently furthering their studies by working towards a Postgraduate Diploma in Data Analytics and Business Intelligence.


At the start of February 2017, these students – Noxolo Myeketsi, Tshepang Makhubedu, Yusuf Adams, Byran Titus and Dionah Tshabalala – began their journey as part of Compuscan’s data analytics team. The internship will allow them to gain exposure to real-world challenges and opportunities as they learn more about innovative credit risk management solutions such as scoring, analytics and predictive modelling.


Sharing her thoughts on the value of upskilling oneself in the workplace, Noxolo Myeketsi comments: “I believe that using your skills in the workplace while studying is very advantageous. It gives you the opportunity to understand how your knowledge and skills fit into a specific field of work, as well as to broaden your abilities.”


Adding to these sentiments, Tshepang Makhubedu expresses: “I would advise that those who seek to work while they are studying should set out clear objectives of why it is that they would like to do so. If it is to gain practical work experience in the field that they are studying towards, they should contact the relevant companies and pursue the chance to do work during holidays or part time. This will allow them to upskill themselves and, in some cases, to earn some money.”


Further to this, however, the credit bureau encourages young people – particularly those who cannot currently afford university tuition fees and have not yet been able to secure a bursary or loan – to think outside the box, to use their talents and skills in an entrepreneurial sense or to give of their time and skills in return for valuable participation, even if it is not remunerated. There is, after all, a sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with gaining new knowledge and achieving goals that one has worked towards.


Whether a work opportunity immediately results in an income or if it means the chance to gain skills which can be applied at a later stage in return for a salary, Compuscan urges youth to learn the value in saving, in budgeting and in spending wisely. As young people leave school, many start to consider taking out student loans, cell phone accounts, clothing accounts or credit cards, amongst other forms of credit. The credit bureau thus shares the following advice with today’s youth:


If your credit application is approved, it is important to make sure you understand the agreement that you have entered into with your credit provider as well as what your rights and obligations are. Take note of the following information that should be included in your credit agreement and explained to you:


  • Payments – when and how payments will be made, the number of payments required, and the date of the first and last payments
  • Statements – how often statements will be delivered and via which preferred method of delivery (post or email) they will be delivered
  • Default administration costs – at what point these costs would apply and the amounts that would be owed
  • Consumer’s right to cancel the agreement – this should also indicate the conditions or consequences of such termination
  • Security (if applicable) – information on the asset that has been allocated to secure the credit
  • Insurance (if applicable) – all insurance information such as the monthly premium amount, the fee to which the lender may be entitled and how the payment will be made


Lenisa concludes: “In all things, we encourage young people to think of the bigger picture, to plan wisely and to explore avenues that lead to skills development, growth and knowledge acquisition; to think of their futures and the future of our country, with hope and aspiration.”

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