Standard Bank invests in a variety of training programmes designed to help young people access the world of work.
To build a bridge for young people entering the world of work, address racial, gender and geographical challenges to educational advancement, and develop the kind of skills needed by Standard Bank, we introduced learnership programmes for unemployed young people in 2007.
Since then, over 5 600 learners have participated in the programmes. Many are still with Standard Bank. Applicants are required to have matric, or to have partial or full tertiary qualifications, depending on the programme they’re applying for. They undergo a rigorous recruitment process to ensure the right fit for the role. Each learner is assigned a coach, mentor and line manager for support during the learnership programme. In 2018, we employed 815 young people on our various programmes, and 783 learners completed their programmes. 504 of these learners were retained at Standard Bank, while 119 found employment elsewhere.
Standard Bank has a strategic relationship with the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator that began in 2012. Harambee prepares young, unemployed South Africans who have been locked out of the economy to enter the workplace for the first time. Since 2012, we have placed 681 Harambee candidates in 12-month learnerships within the bank, as call centre agents, tellers in our cash centres, fraud investigation consultants, travel centre consultants and frontline consultants in our branch network. Of these young people, more than 90% successfully completed the learnership. Just under 90% were offered ongoing contracts at the bank, while about 15% became permanent members of staff.
Harambee candidates come from households of between five and 11 people, which are either grant dependent, have an income earner in low-paid or at-risk employment, or have no income. Providing a young person from such a household with decent work makes a significant impact on the household as a whole, not least through sharing their skills and experience, developing networks and creating opportunities for others in the household.
Standard Bank’s Tutuwa Community Foundation partners with a number of youth work readiness programmes. Some of the programmes aim to create self-employed engineers while others focus on growing artisans. We also focus on those without formal training or education, such as improving the employability of those Not in Employment Education or Training (NEETS).
Ntokozo Ndlovu is a 33-year-old single mother from Harding, KwaZulu-Natal. She was unemployed when she received the call from the Artisan Training institute (ATI) about the opportunity to apply for a course in an electrical trade with the institute at the Port Shepstone training centre. Her training includes replacing new transformers, changing street lights and fixing traffic lights. She is currently in job placement training with the Umuzi Wabantu municipality.
“The funding support from Tutuwa has changed my life. I would be sitting at home looking for a job with no technical skills qualification. Now I know that when I complete the training, I will be employable.”
Standard Bank has a long-standing partnership with Woema, an IT innovation programme, to attract women to the ICT industry. Our initiatives include Women in Technology conferences, GirlCode Hackathons, and women in technology acceleration programmes. In 2018, we jointly hosted a Next Gen Coders course for 30 girls at our offices in Johannesburg, during the April school holidays. The girls were selected by their schools for their ability, their passion for computing and their interest in pursuing a career in IT. The four-day seminar not only develops data and mathematical skills, it also encourages young girls to dream big, develop logical thinking, use their imagination and come up with innovative ideas. At the end of the week, the girls were able to show off their newly acquired coding skills, collaborate in teams, and confidently present back to the group. We also undertook a STEAM (Science Technology Engineering Arts and Maths) roadshow, visiting seven schools, to inspire students to follow careers in IT, and to highlight the importance of maths and science for IT careers. The roadshow included a visit to the Johannesburg Children’s Home, where we visited students and gave them Woema tech hampers. To find out more, email: Woema@standardbank.co.za