In 2012, it was reported that 600,000 graduates in South Africa were unable to find employment, and unable to put into practice what they had learnt. With the gulf between university and the workplace not helping students, it’s the vision of private enterprises which must lead the development of tomorrow’s talent.
“South Africa has an abundance of eager graduates looking to make their mark in industry, and it’s fostering this talent that will lead to the country being a strong competitor in the global market.” Said Boomtown Creative Director, Andrew Mackenzie.
Currently, 50% of the SA population is under the age of 15, and there is growing pressure to create millions of new jobs, especially in the coming three to five years.
Wayne Harrison, Boomtown MD added: “It’s not sustainable for these new jobs to come from big business. Companies like Anglo American have reduced work forces from over 450,000 in the eighties to just 100,000 today. The future of SA lies with the creation of a national culture that supports entrepreneurs, idea-rists, and SMEs. Through initiatives that help incubate young talent we can support the current economic power shift from the declining developed countries to the next generation of global economic power houses – South Africa, India and South America.”
And to play its role, Boomtown Strategic Brand Agency has launched Bayeza. A scheme to bring on-board graduates for one year and expose them to working life, and make them attractive to future employers once the contract is up.
The agency has taken on four individuals for 2013 from Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University: three creative and one marketing graduate. During the course of the year they will be taken through each area of agency the agency’s functions giving them valuable experience.
Luvuyo Bangazi, is spear heading the initiative: “The Bayeza graduates are fast-tracked through the agency giving them a rounded understanding of life at Boomtown and what to expect when they enter full-time employment.
“The goal is to make Bayeza a business within a business so we can channel whatever profits it makes, back into supporting previously disadvantaged graduates in our sector.
“Each month they will work in a different area: production, digital etc., which will allow them to find what they’d like to specialise in, in their first job, and make them attractive to prospective employers.”
Lwando Marambana, Zinzi May, Phola Maneli and Gerard Addison, joined Boomtown this week, and come from a variety of backgrounds.
Pola Maneli, one of the grads said of the opportunity: “In the harsh plains of the Khoisan desert we have a saying, which, roughly translated means: “When big man boom, give little boy room”. And that’s what I feel like this Bayeza project has done for me. It’s afforded me the opportunity to look past my humble beginnings as a child labourer in the blood diamond mines, and realise that I too can have a future in the illustrious advertising industry.
“It’s been my dream to work in this industry ever since I started watching Generations as a child; I can still clearly remember seeing Archie Moroka in New Horizons and the way he and everyone in that company carried themselves really inspired me to want to grow facial hair. And even though, those hairs are taking a little longer to grow than expected, I can still comfortably say ‘bayeza’.”
Author: Kimberley Nanson