Despite the economic hardships presented by COVID-19 restrictions, constant lockdowns and South Africa’s high unemployment rate, the private sector is stepping in to ensure young South Africans are equipped with the skills, digital expertise, and progressive mindsets that will allow them to achieve a solid qualification for better employment opportunities and a decent future.
Through the Red & Yellow Bursary Programme, 74 talented and promising South African youths have been awarded bursaries to further their tertiary education at the Red & Yellow Creative School of Business, one of Africa’s leading private higher education institutions.
Bursaries to the value of R7.5 million have been awarded, of which 50% have been sponsored by corporate brand partnerships with leading companies, such as Adidas, leading to the creation of employment opportunities for talented South African youths.
Red & Yellow’s bursary students are studying a range of programmes, including the school’s highly regarded BCom in Marketing, BA in Visual Communications, and Advanced Diploma in Marketing & Advertising Communications.
“The bursary has given me an opportunity to focus on my studies as I don’t have to worry about finances and my living allowances,” says Anganathi Beyile, one of the BCom in Marketing bursary students. “Once I am done with my degree, I would like to start my own agency to showcase creative talent and to tell people’s stories. My ultimate goal is to start a non-profit organisation with my mother”.
The South African Youth Unemployment Crisis
According to Stats SA’s Quarter Labour Force Survey (released on 1 June 2021), the official unemployment rate among South African youth (aged 15 to 34) was 46.3% in the first quarter of 2021.
Of this group, 52.4% don’t have a matric qualification, with a mere 9,4% being those who hold tertiary-level qualifications.
Based on the stats, there is a direct correlation between education and employment. This highlights the importance of bursaries, especially in the South African context.
“Financial aid for students is pivotal as it enables them to transcend merely surviving in an incredibly difficult economy and to actively pursue their dreams,” says Meghan Slater, Head of Corporate Sales.
“Through Red & Yellow’s Bursary Programme, corporates can support the development of the local business landscape and increase employment opportunities by equipping bright young South Africans with the necessary skills to become the leaders of tomorrow”.
Cultivating a Cycle of Change
As a leading private Business School, Red & Yellow is committed to their social promise that at least 10% of its students won’t have to pay for their studies. This initiative is partly supported by Red & Yellow, but primarily through bursary sponsorship and collaboration with the private sector. Through additional corporate sponsorship, Red & Yellow can reach its full R7,5 million target for bursaries and provide young South Africans with the opportunity to find success in their future.
Corporate support helps to elevate the impact of the bursary sponsorship by ensuring that the funds develop highly employable students boasting future-focused and industry-relevant skill sets. Sponsors are also able to take advantage of significant B-BBEE benefits, which incentivise companies to contribute towards bursaries.
“Corporate-sponsored bursaries allow brands to deeply connect with their communities and play a significant role in evolving the ecosystem of employment opportunities,” concludes Meghan Slater. “They are also critical in driving transformation and tackling inequality in South Africa, causes which are core to Red & Yellow’s values and vision”.