To mark Youth Month and recognise the importance of tapping into the powerful insights of South Africa’s youth, Coronation Fund Managers invited 35 finance and business university students to its Cape Town offices for an interactive discussion session with CEO Anton Pillay.
Students from the University of the Western Cape and the University of Cape Town met with Anton and other Coronation team members under the theme #HaveYourSay. During the session, students discussed their experiences and aspirations as a young person studying towards a career in finance and business in South Africa and shared their views on what motivates them, how they see themselves contributing to society and what purpose and values drives their ambitions.
“We are committed to travelling alongside young people in their mission to change the world for the better. They are the future contributors to society and leaders of the country, and their voices are critically important to discussions about how we, as an industry, can support young people as they work towards their future and career.
“And I know that it’s not easy for young people today. The burden of unemployment is still concentrated among the youth, with those aged between 15 and 34 years accounting for 63.4% of the total number of unemployed persons in South Africa. This has to change, and we will continue to be a part of driving this change through our long-term, youth-focused programmes,” says Anton.
Addressing a 2019 Youth Day celebration on 16 June, President Cyril Ramaphosa called on the private sector to create pathways into work for young people who are prepared to learn, work hard and better themselves.
Coronation is doing just that through our continued investment in long-term youth initiatives that support education and provide meaningful opportunities for the youth from cradle to career. Several of the students in attendance at the Youth Month event were part of the Young Investor Programme (YIP) programme at the University of the Western Cape, while others were recipients of Coronation’s Bursary Programme.
The YIP programme aims to bridge the gap between the theoretical knowledge obtained at university and practical work requirements, preparing budding asset managers for the challenges and rewards of the finance and investment industry.
In addition to our early childhood initiatives, the Coronation Bursary Programme and the South African Innovation Learning Intervention (SAILI) high school scholarship programme has given 223 university students and high school learners from underprivileged communities across South Africa the chance to achieve their dreams of a better future.
To ensure they are able to bridge the gap between their studies and the world of work, vacation roles and internships are also made available. In addition to education funding, they also receive mentoring and access to support services.
Coronation is also a participant in the Youth Employment Services, or YES, initiative, which is a partnership between government, business, labour and civil society that aims to create employment for one million young South Africans over the course of the next three years. Since its launch in March 2018, the initiative has placed over 18 000 young people in employment opportunities and is providing business infrastructure and support through its community hubs.
“We truly believe in the power of our youth and the contribution that they can make to the financial services industry and our organisation. If they are given the right amount of support, they can go on to make real change and have a positive impact on society and our country” says Anton.