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Saturday, June 15, 2024

PluggedIn: A newly developed platform aimed at helping youth start, grow and enhance their careers

Standard Bank has launched PluggedIn, a platform offering that will help millions of youth on our continent to “plug in” to the economy by offering them access to tools, resources, support, and opportunities.  PluggedIn is open to the public and offers end-to-end career services – all within a single platform. With the initial launch, PluggedIn aims at helping young people with choosing the right career path and provides access to skills development courses to increase their chances of employability. The next phase will be “plugging” young people to work-related opportunities.

South Africa continues to face a high youth unemployment rate and severe skills shortages.

The 2022 Quarterly Labour Force Survey for the first quarter of 2022 pegs the country’s youth unemployment rate at 63.9%. Although this is largely driven by macro-economic conditions; a lack of access to educational resources and cost barriers associated with accessing and navigating the professional career services landscape further exacerbates the situation. This leaves young people with little insight into the career opportunity landscape and where they might fit in the labour market. Standard Bank aims to increase access to high-quality career guidance and development solutions by making these solutions readily available and usable by anyone, from any background, on a single platform.

PluggedIn is an end-to-end career service platform.

The PluggedIn platform uses advanced technology to provide a multi-lingual, mobile-friendly and personalised experience. Members gain access to engaging career assessments and the platform then recommends best-suited careers to explore. All career recommendations are centred on high-growth, in-demand careers which many young people may not be aware of such as…. Career information is filled with rich insights – with the aim of closing the gap between career expectation and career reality; thereby improving career decisions, and better preparing young people for the road ahead.

“PluggedIn is a platform designed to plug youth into the right career and gear them up to land their dream career,” says Funeka Montjane, Group Chief Executive of Consumer and High Net Worth at Standard Bank. “Youth will gain access to excellent tools and career support services to help them achieve their goals. They can sign up on PluggedIn for free and let the platform guide them to career success. This is Standard Bank’s gift to our budding and hopeful youth and staying true to our commitment to help young people become 10% millionaires. We will continue to look at cool things to plug you into.”

Membership is free and also gives access to a curated list of free, certified skills development courses from reputable training providers to increase their chances of employment. PluggedIn also offers tools such as an innovative CV builder that is user-guided, auto-generated, and optimally designed for recruiters. This is still a major issue for young people as they struggle to put an attractive CV together. Furthermore, members can conveniently explore the tertiary, bursary, and jobs landscape through well-designed explorer tools. PluggedIn also assists Grade 9 learners with subject choice exploration and selection, which goes to the very root of a young person’s career journey.

“Through PluggedIn, we hope to address three main areas of improvement. These are accessibility, inclusion, and empowerment,” says Lungisa Fuzile, Chief Executive of Standard Bank South Africa. “We want to ensure all youth have access to career guidance, resources, and the self-knowledge needed to make better career choices. By including youth from any background on the platform, we hope to give every person an equal opportunity to realise their dreams. Finally, we want to inspire confidence and encourage the behaviour needed to drive South Africa’s economy and society forward.”

A platform with all these professional career services is typically cost prohibitive to the public, and PluggedIn – with the mission of enabling easy access to career upliftment and upward mobility tools – brings this to the public for free. Members will gain lifelong access to the platform as well as information and access to exciting new features to come.

To find out more, visit https://standardbank.co.za/southafrica/personal/campaigns/pluggedIn

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