Record unemployment rates and a need for agri-skills point perfectly towards the need to help young South Africans upskill in the field of agriculture.
Massive job losses caused by Covid and the resultant lockdowns, pushed South Africa’s unemployment rate to a new record high of 32.5% in the fourth quarter of 2020. If you include those who are discouraged from seeking work, the unemployment rate surged to 42.6% – amounting to an incredible 11.1 million people, according to Stats SA. It’s not hard to understand why there is such an enormous need to help the youth gain skills that will make them more employable – and that’s what we’re doing at Educate to Grow by raising education funding for previously disadvantaged youth.
Now that we’re back to Level 1 Covid restrictions, and most industries are operating almost normally, the mood is lifting. But the reality is that the economic recovery will be slow and many who lost their jobs will remain unemployed. In spite of the circumstances, however, food insecurity remains an issue we can’t ignore and agriculture is among the sectors that continues to offer hope for skilled employment.
Economists are expecting it to take years for employment levels to return to 2019 levels, but some jobs and industries will recover faster than others. In November, the Department of Higher Education published a list of high-demand occupations in South Africa, including those expected to show faster and slower recoveries from Covid-19.
Of the 73 jobs showing higher demand and a faster recovery, 15 have links to the agricultural sector, indicating the importance of, and the need for skills in this important industry. The jobs highlighted include:
- Agricultural farm manager
- Agricultural Engineer
- Agricultural Engineering Technologist
- Agricultural mobile plant (equipment) operator
- Agricultural scientist
- Agriculture consultant
- Cotton Grader
- Food and beverage scientist
- Forestry operations supervisor
- Horticultural farmer
- Mixed crop and livestock farmer
- Wool Classer / Grader
- Tree feller
- Tobacco Grader
The ability to upskill in the field of agriculture with the help of short, online courses, as well as one-year NQF4 level courses, gives many young people access to an education that is out of reach to them through traditional institutions – whether for financial or other reasons.
A new generation of leaders
At Educate to Grow, we focus on raising education funding for previously disadvantaged youth and women, with the aim of empowering them to be part of the new generation of agricultural leaders.
We need your help to reach even more deserving candidates for our agri-scholarship programme – giving them the opportunity to continue their learning journey and take the first step towards a career that offers an enormous, and growing, number of opportunities.
As a fully registered Non-Profit Company, Educate to Grow is in a position to issue an 18A Certificate for any donations made to the company.
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There is no better time to help someone continue their education than right now.