The South African Institute of Chartered Accounts (SAICA) and the Economic Development Department launched the Business Hub and Skills Training Programme focused on readying unemployed accounting graduates for the workplace.
The initiative is ready to take off with the first intake of graduates already done. All these graduates hold BCom Accounting or equivalent university qualifications, and will receive training provided by Guarantee Trust, which will cover both life skills and technical skills.
Speaking at the launch of the initiative, Economic Development Department Minister Ebrahim Patel said “To achieve the vision that we have set ourselves in the New Growth Path (NGP) of creating five million new jobs by 2020, we need a collaborative effort by all stakeholders in our society to respond to this massive task”.
SAICA CEO Matsobane Matlwa added that “South Africa needs to provide opportunities to all, yet historical economic disadvantages continue to have an adverse effect on tens of millions of citizens”.
“As the chartered accountancy profession, we have decided to play a leading role in addressing the high unemployment levels in the country, and at the same time, growing the nation’s economy. We are proud of the fact that Government, through the Economic Development Department, considered working with us on this job-creation project. We are aware that one of the challenges we have in the country is unemployed graduates. It is sad to see these youths who have dedicated three or more years towards acquiring a skill, only to be unemployed,” Matlwa said.
SAICA’s strategic partners Softline Pastel will fund the capital set up costs of the Business Hub as well as providing the required accounting software.
Speaking at the same event, Guarantee Trust Joint MD Alan Murray said “The graduates will be put through a well-tested skills program. An interesting part of this process will be a ‘Virtual Office’ module where graduates will deal with real companies using their original accounting documents. This will be ideal preparation for what lies ahead in the Business Hub. Completing these various simulation training modules will provide the ‘work experience’ so needed by the marketplace.”