In his most recent State of the Nation address, President Cyril Ramaphosa called for the private sector to help make TVET (technical and vocational education and training) graduates more employable by providing workplace exposure.
The aftermarket sector is well suited to doing this – so long as educational institutions also show support for the initiative. With this in mind, the Retail Motor Industry Organisation (RMI) is working to foster collaboration between TVET institutions and the private sector. For example, with 22 000 registered employers in the automotive aftermarket sector, there are ample opportunities for small employers to take on graduates for work experience. This would certainly help move government towards its target of 10 000 internships; however, for this to happen, restrictive issues such as high regulatory compliance costs need to be reviewed.
Given the rapid growth and technological innovation taking place within the industry at present, there are significant opportunities for youth employment; and the accent on training and development within the industries means that it should be easy for youngsters to take advantage of these opportunities once potential obstacles have been removed.