Digitisation Presents – Work & Entrepreneurial Opportunities For Youth

July, 06, 2020 The increasing adoption of technology solutions by many industries to offset the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the slowdown of economic activity presents young, tech-savvy people with an unprecedented opportunity to become entrepreneurs, innovate smart solutions for industries and find work opportunities in a post Covid-19 era, says Lungile Langa, Director, […]

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July, 06, 2020

The increasing adoption of technology solutions by many industries to offset the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and the slowdown of economic activity presents young, tech-savvy people with an unprecedented opportunity to become entrepreneurs, innovate smart solutions for industries and find work opportunities in a post Covid-19 era, says Lungile Langa, Director, Human Resources (HR), Servest.

The outbreak of the coronavirus has resulted in a jobs bloodbath, with hundreds of thousands of people swelling the ranks of the unemployed as economic activity grounded to a halt because of the nationwide lockdown.

Langa highlights that while the world and our country is facing difficult times, we can turn the crisis into new opportunities for organisations, employees, and unemployed youth.

“In fact, now more than ever – people need to find problems to solve in any industry and present a strong case for the proposed solution. To survive in this rapidly changing landscape, the strategy should be innovation and digital transformation. And this will require young minds and high-tech workplaces that favour the youth. The question is, are our youth equipped for these digital opportunities?” asks Langa.

Research conducted by TransUnion in partnership with third-party research provider Qualtrics Research-Services, found that the millennials – those born between 1980 and 1994 – have borne the brunt of the pandemic, representing about 16% of impacted consumers that indicated in week three of the lockdown that they have lost their jobs. This was up from 11% in week two of the lockdown, the survey found.

“The advent of the digital age favours the youth. This increasing usage of technology solutions puts the youth in a favourable position to seize the opportunities in the new world order where smart solutions are increasingly driving production. This is the time for young people to ‘show up’, instead of spending time on social media. The increasing digitisation calls upon young people to use their digital competence to develop smart solutions that can benefit organisations, and search for entrepreneurial and work opportunities, rather than spend an inordinate time on social media,” says Langa.

Langa points out that there are employment opportunities for young people during and post the COVID-19 pandemic. “Every industry will have new opportunities that require new skills. The nature of work will change, the profile of the ideal employee is someone who is tech savvy. Skills will have to be transformed to meet the digital imperative, if not they will be replaced,” she adds.

Citing examples of new opportunities in the facilities management industry, Langa says that though the industry was one of the hardest hit as demand for its services dwindled substantially during the lockdown, the industry is recovering remarkably as clients review their business models, and also precipitated by the sector’s adoption of digital solutions.

“More and more, organizations want to focus on their core business, and leave the management of their assets to the experts in the field. This then creates growth opportunities for the sector. The use of drones will be the new normal in the sector – we will see a rise in robotics in the sector which will not necessarily replace all jobs, but repurpose them in favour of more skilled occupations and skills such as coding.

Automation will solve the problems of human error and will allow for proper data storage. The application of smart solutions in the facilities management industries are endless, and we believe that the coronavirus outbreak will accelerate the digitisation of many sectors and the facilities management sector in particular, thereby presenting opportunities for the absorption of young people with an interest in technology, says Langa.

Even prior to the coronavirus outbreak, figures released by Statistics SA showed that young people aged 15–24 years are the most vulnerable in the South African labour market. According to Statistics SA, the unemployment rate among this age group was 55,2% in the 1st quarter of 2019. Among graduates in this age group, the unemployment rate was 31,0% during this period compared to 19,5% in the 4th quarter of 2018.

Langa advises that this population demographic can position themselves to take advantage of opportunities presented by the increasing digitisation of production; and this can be done even within the industries in which these young people already work. The opportunities lie in upskilling and continuous learning. With an increased number of free online learning programmes, young people can leverage these opportunities to upskill and align their current skills with digital offerings.

“Advance your digital skills as this will be crucial because the strategies of organizations will include digital transformation. By implication, organisations will also be modelling digital competencies that will be required to meet strategic objectives. This remodelling of business calls upon the youth to enhance their digital skills and identify new opportunities to solve organizational problems or to become an entrepreneur,” Langa concludes.

https://techmetroafrica.com/2020/06/17/digitisation-presents-opportunities-for-youth/https://techmetroafrica.com/2020/06/17/digitisation-presents-opportunities-for-youth/

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