20% job vacancies despite unemployment

Posted On Friday, 15 February 2002 02:00 Published by
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A SURVEY conducted by the Johannesburg metropolitan council among the business community reveals that there is a vacancy rate of up to 20% in these firms, despite the 30% unemployment rate in the city.
A SURVEY conducted by the Johannesburg metropolitan council among the business community reveals that there is a vacancy rate of up to 20% in these firms, despite the 30% unemployment rate in the city.

This finding is contained in 'Joburg 2030', an economic development strategy document to be launched next week.

City officials said yesterday this was as a result 'a fundamental mismatch of skills' and it undermined the advantage a big city theoretically offered in terms of access to a large labour force.

The document proposes that Johannesburg develop a city skills project, to participate in developing a culture of appropriate learning and to ensure supportive infrastructure utilisation.

The project would seek to harness all actual and potential educational resources in the city, from crèches to community centres and libraries, in order to develop a culture of learning and technology. 'By doing so, it will work towards building a strong foundation for the skills the economy requires,' it reads.

This would include, among other programmes: citizenry and compliance education programmes, holiday and intern programmes for learners, job search facilities and city-based sector education and training authority programmes for key industries.

The strategy envisages refocusing facilities such as museums, libraries and community centres to be 'crucial tools' in developing a skilled and educated population, says the document.

The skills development programme would also strategically interface with national and provincial education authorities to assist in the transformation of the labour force and learners within the educational system.

A city official said details still needed to be worked out 'but we want to utilise our infrastructure to support the education system more efficiently'. Issues being looked at included getting into partnerships with the provincial education authority to supply all schools in Johannesburg with a computer if the department was unable to do so.

By 2030, Johannesburg's labour force would be dominated by white- and blue-collar workers with a culture of numeracy, technology and high service standards, the document says.

Focused training and the reorientation of learning from early child development through to tertiary education would ensure the supply of appropriate skills. 'Total labour productivity will have increased in line with Group of Eight countries,' it declares.

Publisher: Business Day
Source: Business Day

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