Skills, Education and Employment as the Cornerstone of Smart Business Strategy

Barloworld Logistics

By the Foresight Team, Barloworld Logistics

Barloworld Logistics strongly believes that people form part of the foundation of a sustainable growth strategy. Forging connections between talented employees, clients and business goals is what makes really smart supply chains a reality. In the supplychainforesight 2016 report, the skills shortage was highlighted as a top concern for local business, and as an organisation reliant on skill and innovative thinking to service our industry, we researched this topic further to gain valuable insight and suggest solutions.

As companies and individuals start 2017 with new goals and aspirations, thought needs to be given to those who are beginning the year with no formal employment or job opportunity. It is well known that South African unemployment is currently at an eight-year high of 26.6% and the youth making up the majority of this number. What is certainly less well documented and discussed is the root cause of this issue. It is an evident disconnect between formal education and training, and the skills and expertise that local employers need. Without doubt, matriculants and university graduates are emerging from their studies ill equipped to gain meaningful employment and to build successful and fulfilling careers.

Although many theories have been posited, no clear solutions to this quandary have been proffered. In our latest foresightreport, Connecting the Dots: Skills and Education, we explore possible reasons why young South Africans are struggling to find meaningful employment. In addition, we examine why corporate South Africa is not able to fully harness the existing skills and talent available, often leaving them well short of the skills they need to compete on a global level.

Our comprehensive report draws on research conducted in mid-2016 that canvassed the views and opinions of over 700 university graduates and 300 business professionals. This research endeavoured to uncover the goals and aspirations of students, as well as the challenges they face when looking for formal employment upon graduation. It also examines the path of entrepreneurship and the pros and cons of this choice for young South Africans.

By taking into account the current world of work, and the astonishing rate of technology development and adoption, our foresightreport seeks to offer a clear strategy for stakeholders. The key stakeholders, in our view, are those shaping education, government policy, corporate leadership - and of course the students themselves. It is up to each of these stakeholders to find a better way of working together and of aligning education and skills training with the modern world of work.

We are confident that this report will not only provide food for thought but also the inspiration to tackle this critical issue as we all step forward into 2017.

To download the report, click the button below.

Download the foresightreport