September 18, Pretoria – Despite facing severe economic challenges, the South African Revenue Service (SARS) has committed itself to make a difference in providing employment opportunities for young people, albeit in its own small way. We are pleased that this year we are able, despite resource constraints, to employ 184 interns who have come to the end of their training during September 2020. Without this many would end up as unemployed in an environment where youth unemployment is a huge societal challenge for South Africa.
Annually SARS invests in graduate training for a number of newly graduated professionals. In this regard, trainees undergo intensive learning and development interventions and practical work exposure over a period of 24-36 months. This is complemented by rigorous assessments of their learning outcomes, as well as on-the-job training.
This step dovetails with the overall government strategy of addressing the socio-economic challenges, which have been exacerbated by COVID 19 with concomitant unemployment. Taking into account the recent GDP contraction, our country is indeed facing a major challenge. This opportunity must surely bring a glimmer of hope and brighter future prospects for the now permanently employed staff.
This decision was part of SARS’ commitment to empower an ever-growing population of young professionals entering the workforce. However, it also partly addresses a severe shortage in critical areas within SARS. This is integral to our overall Workforce Capacity Plan.
Additionally, SARS has been running various development programmes to build emerging talent capabilities in order to support its Vision 2024. The organisation has for many years contributed to various sectors by capacitating young professionals in the areas of Accounting, Audit, Taxation, Information Technology, Economics, Legal, and Customs and Excise.
“All these graduate trainees expressed the concern that they end up as part of the youth unemployment statistics,” explained Commissioner Kieswetter. “I am excited that our decision now brings certainty and peace of mind to the 184 individuals and provide them with a career opportunity as public servants, whilst we build our much needed skills capability. On 1 October 2020, those trainees who have completed their trainee development programmes will be appointed into permanent roles. I welcome them into our ranks, and enjoin them to our Higher Purpose of enabling government to transform the lives of millions of South Africans. I had the pleasure of meeting some of them personally and the excitement that they displayed in our engagement to be part of the “Re-imagining of SARS”, made this an easy decision.”
SARS will continue to increase the strength of its emerging talent through the development of young professionals and enlarging its pool, thus enabling a skilled workforce that is equipped to adapt to future ways of working. In the final quarter of this calendar year SARS will launch a SARS Junior Board, an initiative to develop next generation leaders.