Youth unemployment in South Africa is at more than 38%, and young people need all the help they can get to find work. Viresh Harduth, the vice-president for new customer acquisition at software company Sage Africa and Middle East, believes small businesses can make a difference. "It's a bit of a chicken-and-egg situation: businesses want to hire young people with experience but few are willing to provide that experience." He says SMEs can help by offering learnerships. He has the following advice: • Build the skills of young people while they are part of your organisation. "Through learnerships, you'll be directly contributing to the skills pool of the country, which has a direct effect on job creation and economic growth," he says; • It's not all about being altruistic. Businesses can claim tax rebates when they take on learners who complete their training programme. "If the learnership covers scarce skills, you could also qualify for a grant from a sector education and training au...

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