Unemployment, and especially youth unemployment, are arguably the most pressing issues facing our country. It is why Engen is firmly committed to playing its part in uplifting and creating opportunities for South Africa’s youth.
June being Youth Month allows Engen to reflect on the ongoing assistance it provides gifted South Africans via targeted social investments such as Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) programme, learnerships, bursaries and its graduate development programme.
Says Engen’s General Manager: Corporate Strategy and Communications, Khalid Latiff: “With youth unemployment currently sitting at high levels, there is an urgent need for enhanced skills training that offers hope to these South African, many of whom are the future leaders of the county.”
In 2020, Engen invested R9.8 million in Learnerships and Bursaries, whilst also continuing to provide free supplementary Maths, Science and Technology tuition to approximately 1 800 under-privileged Grade 10-12 learners across South Africa through the Engen Maths and Science (EMSS) School programme.
The long running EMSS programme provides extra tuition in mathematics and science; “gateway” subjects which are considered critical in addressing the country’s technical and engineering skills shortage as well as spurring economic growth and development.
“Engen Maths and Science Schools seek to harness the potential of talented young people in difficult circumstances and to increase the pool of scarce skills in the country,” adds Latiff.
EMSS has run for 33 years and classes are held at nine locations across South Africa, including in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, East London, Cala and Johannesburg, as well as in KwaZulu-Natal at Fairvale High School, Ganges High School, Howard College, and Mangosuthu University of Technology.
Recent data from the Department of Basic Education shows that only 245 005 matric students enrolled for mathematics for the 2020 examinations – over 11,000 fewer than in 2019.
This decline, as well as a drop in overall mathematics performance, highlights the crucial role played by programmes such as the EMSS.
“Starting off 33 years ago as Engen Saturday Schools, EMSS is central to our efforts to contribute to the growth and transformation of the country and we are proud that the programme continues to help transform young lives, making a meaningful contribution to a more transformed and vibrant South African workforce,” says Latiff.
“Engen is committed to building tomorrow’s leaders and if we want to ensure that the youth of tomorrow are prepared for a rapidly changing world, we need to ensure that they have the right mix of skills, for them to reach their full potential,” he concludes.