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Reducing youth unemployment beyond the youth wage subsidy: A study of SIMTECH apprentices

Orientation: South Africa currently has the twin challenges of worsening youth unemployment and scarce skills that threaten its economic and social stability. Artisanal trades are an occupation category that strongly reflects this current problem. Simtech Training Institute in Durban, the study setting, currently trains artisan apprentices and facilitates their internship work placements.
Research purpose: The objective of this study was to identify some of the critical success factors that differentiated Simtech artisan apprentices who obtained permanent employment, compared to those who are currently unemployed.
Motivation for the study: The main motivation of the study was to improve the conversion rate of artisan apprentices to permanently employed artisans. Research design, approach and method: The study was a cross-sectional study conducted among 51 artisan apprentices who had graduated over the past 3 years at Simtech and who were selected randomly. An online questionnaire comprising primarily Likert scale type questions was utilised to obtain the responses from the sample. Factor analysis was used to remove scale items from the independent variables that did not impact the variability sufficiently. Then the remaining scale items that impacted variability significantly were combined and categorised as new composite independent variables. Logistic regression analysis identified success factors for permanent employment of Simtech graduates.