Original publish date – Thu, 19 Mar 2009 06:44:28 +0000, Cornilius

Large corporates in South Africa are failing to absorb the swelling number of candidates looking for employment. This is due to various factors. The most recent one being that they have felt the impact of the global economic meltdown more than the the small enterprises. Most processes in large firms require much more advanced skills and expertise. The other reason is that it is easier for huge corporates to employ from internal sources instead of going to the external labour market.

On the contrary, small businesses have been employing many potential job candidates. This is because they do not have the money to pay very skilled and experienced employees. They do not have the manpower to head-hunt or advertise widely. They do not have complicated processes that require very skilled people. As a result, they can afford to recruit newly qualified graduates. In so doing they are playing a critical role in reducing unemployment and poverty levels.

In view of this, large corporates can play their part by supporting small enterprises, most of which are Black-owned, and earn points under their enterprise development element of the scorecard. The support may not be directly monetary but it can be helping them market their products and services, training their employees, paying COD and allowing discounts. The small enterprises’ capacity to absorb more people from the labour market will be boosted as a result. By so doing the BEE goals will be met sooner rather than later and the economy will grow at a better rate.