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Even pressure gauge octa emerges from the suffocating financial grip of the Covid-19 pandemic, just lately launched employment statistics proceed to make for grim reading, with nearly eight million folks unemployed.
South Africa truly recorded improved financial exercise in the fourth quarter of 2021, together with an expansion in real GDP of 1.2% compared to the previous quarter, but unemployment still reached record levels.
Denice Dumisa

According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), unemployment in Q4 last 12 months rose to 35.3% from 34.9% in the previous quarter. This is the highest level since the begin of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.
Even extra alarmingly, the youth unemployment rate stood at a staggering sixty five.5%.
The latest employment information was launched at the finish of March by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), and came just days after South Africa managed to attract R1.2 trillion in funding in the course of the fourth South Africa Investment Conference.
Analysts have described the country’s economy as “producing jobless growth” and imagine that even with upward financial growth in the medium time period, South Africa will still have an total unemployment determine of round 30%.
Youth unemployment is a global problem, much more acutely pronounced in South Africa, where the most recent figures are sounding critical alarm bells.
In late 2021, Stats SA reported that two out of each three young individuals underneath the age of 35 in South Africa are unemployed. For pressure gauge underneath 25, this rises to 3 out of each four, or a jarring 75%.
But in and amongst the dire unemployment statistics there are rays of sunshine on the way to begin to effectively tackle this socio-economic disaster.
Education is essential

According to the QLFS report, of the 7,9 million unemployed individuals within the fourth quarter of 2021, as many as fifty one,6% had training levels below matric.
This variety of unemployed drops the higher the training degree. Those with a Matric move constitute 38.6% of unemployed and this figure drops considerably for these with other tertiary qualifications (6.9%) and graduates who constitute solely 2.4% of South Africa’s formal unemployed.
Astron Energy’s Organisational Capability, Learning and Development Manager Lindiwe Ncongwane said: “It is an often repeated mantra that education is the necessary thing to success, however the labour drive survey certainly bears this out.
“Education allied to alternative is the golden key to breaking this cycle of unemployment and to create a future for younger people in the country.”

Astron Energy, which operates South Africa’s second largest community of retail sites including the Caltex brand, runs numerous Youth Development Programmes overlaying both educational support and workplace and experiential studying opportunities.
Astron Energy’s Youth Development Programmes include:




Graduate Internship Programme


According to Ncongwane, South African Corporates have a key position to play in providing opportunities for graduates and those with other qualifications to assist cut back the number of unemployed, and in addition to assist construct a era of employable young folks.
“Investments in coaching and abilities growth, allied to training qualifications, will assist build a workforce that is multi-skilled and capable of adapt to a massive number of tasks and industries,” she said.
The 2020 Future of Work report by the World Economic Forum (WEF) found that 50% of all workers will need reskilling by 2025 as adoption of expertise increases.
The report additionally listed critical pondering and problem-solving as leading skills employers imagine shall be needed over the next 5 years, while newer trends centre on self-management abilities corresponding to energetic learning, resilience, stress tolerance and adaptability.
According to Ncongwane, a key part of Astron Energy’s focus is to equip younger folks for the world of labor, not solely at Astron Energy and the petrochemical business, but the across a spread of disciplines to enable them to be globally aggressive.
The firm additionally runs numerous school-level initiatives within the STEM space, but consistent with the 4th Industrial Revolution’s focus on the 3Cs of Communication, Critical pondering and Collaboration, has broadened this to STEAM – Science, Technology, Arts and Maths – in a bid to develop problem-solving and process-based learning.
The way forward

“As a country, we’ve to proceed investing within the education of our young people, significantly in the important expertise space, after which create alternatives for them to use these abilities and develop in office environments,” Ncongwane said.
“As corporates we want to design a variety of programmes and initiatives to fulfill not solely the wants of the enterprise, but in addition the way ahead for work – and critically the longer term employment prospects for our young individuals.
“If we do that right, we are in a position to begin altering the outlook on the employment entrance and ensure that financial progress has a tangible impression on the futures and livelihoods of the generations to come.”

In the Youth Development house, Astron Energy runs the following programmes:

8 X Learnerships in chemical operations at the Astron Energy refinery in Milnerton, Cape Town

20 X Learnerships in Sales and New Venture Creation at Johannesburg places of work

The Learnerships run from 1 Oct 2021 – 30 Sep 2022


Astron Energy runs a full Bursary programme which covers each underneath graduate and publish graduate research, from 1st year to Masters Level college students.
The bursaries embrace tuition fees, accommodation, books, meals, money allowances and vacation work in the type of internship/in-service-training throughout the company’s operations.
The programme began in 2020 and so far over 440 college students have been funded.
There are currently 196 student bursars and 15 worker bursars as part of this programme. A whole of 26 employee kids are part of the bursary programme for 2022.
The bursary covers a variety of research fields this year together with:
BSc: Chemical Engineering/ BSc: Industrial Engineering/ BSC: Property Studies/ Masters: Industrial Psychology/ Honours: Financial Accounting/ Bcom: Economics/ BSc: Electrical Engineering/ Bcom/BA: Human Resources Management/ Bcom: Information Technology/ Bcom: Internal Auditing/ Bcom: Logistics/ Occupational Health and Safety/ Bcom: Supply Chain/ BSc: Analytical Chemistry.
Astron Energy also presents successful bursars the chance to be part of the Astron Energy Graduate Training programme.

Astron Energy presents 24-month Apprenticeships in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and Instrumentation on the refinery in Cape Town. At present, the company has six apprenticeships in its manufacturing division.
Graduate Programme

The Graduate Internship Programme is run based on the various disciplines required by the enterprise and runs for a interval of between 18-24 months. The present consumption of Graduate interns is about to end on 31 December 2022.

Astron Energy presently has seventy seven members in its Learnership, Apprenticeship and Graduate Internship programmes:
LogisticsGraduate Internship13

CFOGraduate Internship11

RetailGraduate Internship5

HRGraduate Internship3


C & IGraduate Internship2

CEOGraduate Internship2

ManufacturingGraduate Internship1

STOGraduate Internship3

Strategy Graduate Internship2

SHEQGraduate Internship1


ManufacturingChemical Operations Learnership8



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