28 June 2022

Free State matrics use school holidays to knuckle down for success

46 years after the June 16 Soweto student uprising and 28 years into Democracy, the sad reality is that, today more than ever, our youth are finding it increasingly difficult to secure jobs.

In fact, according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the 1st quarter of 2022, of South Africa’s 10 million young people aged 15-24 years, only 2.5 million are in the labour force. The largest share (7.7 million or 75,1 %) of this group of young people are classed as out of the labour force (i.e. inactive). The main reason for this, says Stats SA is discouragement – the youth have simply lost hope of finding a job that suits their skills or in the area they reside.

Stuck in what is termed the “cycle of dependence”, there is only one sure way to help young people out of this cycle and that is to give them the opportunity to enter scarce-skills professions where the potential to find gainful and meaningful employment is more achievable. But to do that, learners need to achieve top marks in gateways subjects like maths.

‘As a key stakeholder with a vested interest in improving the quality of education in the country, SAICA’s provincial Development Camps aim to grow the pipeline of disadvantaged African and coloured learners who are eligible to study towards scarce-skills professions including the chartered accountancy profession, explains Robert Zwane, SAICA’s Executive Director: Learning, Development and National Imperatives. ‘It is with this end goal in mind that SAICA, in partnership with the provincial department of education, members of the accounting profession, universities’ representatives, and institutions, hosts week-long Development Camps that provide learners with extra lessons to improve their performance in mathematics, science, accounting and English. These camps also provide learners with life skills training and career information to help them make wise and appropriate career choices.’

These camps, hosted annually, form part of SAICA's strategy to aid the global drive for transformation, employment and growth by supporting social and economic development as outlined in the NDP and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Next week (3 – 9 July 2022), more than 200 Free State matrics will descend on Bloemfontein to spend a week of their July school holiday at the SAICA Free State Development Camp in order to harness their mathematic aptitude.

But the benefits of the camps extend well beyond the immediate goal of improving academic performance, adds Zwane.

‘Through the camp educators, wide range of speakers, and, more importantly, the SAICA camp leaders (former camp beneficiaries themselves), learners begin to step out of their comfort zones and are inspired and empowered to make crucial decisions about their lives and their career paths so that they can overcome the barriers to entry that restrict so many from completing matric with university exemption – especially in a subject like maths.’

Members of the accounting profession or representatives of the media who wish to visit the camps to see exactly how things work and interact with the remarkable learners who attend them, may contact Karin Jacobsen on 011 621 6913 (email: ***@saica.co.za) to arrange a visit.

Editor’s note:

In accordance with SAICA’s mandate to transform the demographics of the chartered accountancy profession to reflect the demographics of the country, SAICA works with the provincial departments of education to select learners from disadvantaged areas to attend the SAICA Development Camps. Learners are selected based on academic performance: they must have scored a minimum of 60% in mathematics and English. These learners receive assistance intended to help them produce high quality matric passes and set them on the path to study towards key professions of high demand.

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About SAICA:

The South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA), South Africa’s pre-eminent accountancy body, is widely recognised as one of the world’s leading accounting institutes. The Institute provides a wide range of support services to more than 50 000 members and associates who are chartered accountants (CAs[SA]), as well as associate general accountants (AGAs[SA]) and accounting technicians (ATs[SA]), who hold positions as CEOs, MDs, board directors, business owners, chief financial officers, auditors and leaders in every sphere of commerce and industry, and who play a significant role in the nation’s highly dynamic business sector and economic development.

Chartered Accountants are highly valued for their versatile skill set and creative lateral thinking, that's why all of the top 100 Global Brands employ Chartered Accountants.

About the Thuthuka Bursary Fund and Education Upliftment Project:

One of SAICA’s prime goals is to contribute towards strengthening the country’s economy by playing a significant and leading role in transformation and skills development. Through Thuthuka, a pioneering initiative to promote transformation in the profession, SAICA launched its transformation efforts in the Eastern Cape in 2002 and has grown this into a national project that includes various interventions across the education value chain as well as the highly successful Thuthuka Bursary Fund.

Thuthuka’s objective is to transform the demographics of the profession to reflect those of the country in terms of race and gender, and provide educational support to African learners and students for the benefit of the profession, while simultaneously helping to uplift communities. Therefore, SAICA prides itself in leading the chartered accountancy profession as a socially responsible driver of business and skills development by supporting and encouraging enterprise development initiatives.

SAICA Media Contact

Ms Karin Jacobsen
Project Director: Marketing and Communications
Learning, Development and National Imperatives
Tel: ‪011 621 6913
Email: ***@saica.co.za