Could the Unemployment be eased?

18th March 2019
CAPES Article 001

The unemployment rate in South Africa was reported to be sitting at a high of 27.1% in the fourth quarter of 2018. The number of unemployed people rested at 6.14 million, with employment figures only increasing by 149 000. Unemployment has been an ongoing issue in South Africa, various attempts have been made to try and eradicate this problem, and none seem to have worked entirely.

Although an overnight solution is not feasible, unemployment could be eased. Around the globe, Temporary Employment Services (TES), play a significantly large role in providing employment opportunities. From an international perspective an example of such is TES contribution to the United States’ economy, providing outstanding job and career opportunities for more than 15 million employees per year.

There are many myths surrounding TES, or better known as “Labour Brokers”. However, in reality, professional and regulated TES provide a valuable service to the job seekers, businesses and consequently, the economy. These ensure that all workers, regardless of their contractual arrangement enjoy decent working conditions.

Despite opposition, there has been an increase in the use of TES in many parts of the industrialised and developing world.

Work has changed and continues to change daily in response to the drivers of the 4th Industrial revolution including job redundancy, skills revolutions and the shift to non-standard forms of employment.

We cannot ignore the fact that demand fluctuates and the composition of the workforce is not what it used to be. The digitalised and robotised era makes skills flexibility essential. The TES is adaptive to such changes. The 4th Industrial revolution cannot be stopped and the TES does not create casual labour, it simply provides an opportunity to manage and benefit from the current and further state of the changing rate of employment.

An increasing number of young professionals are opting to work through the TES model, with the recognition that clinging on to one skill set could be  limiting, with rapid fluctuation in the demand for certain skills. On the opposite end, the TES industry is proven to be an important entry point to the labour market and each year provides access to thousands of people many of whom were previously unemployed.

Like with everything else, compliance and regulation play a very important role.  Compliant Labour Brokers and TES may not have the capacity to eradicate unemployment completely, but the unemployment burden can definitely be eased, is it not time to adjust to a revolutionary world?