A youth employment engine is bridging the divide between entry-level job seekers, employers and the public sector.
Youth-oriented organisation Lulaway is significantly addressing youth unemployment, having facilitated employment and internship opportunities for over 30 000 youth.
Working closely with government, non-profit organisations and the private sector, Lulaway has established over 200 job centres in all nine provinces.
In Bellville, the Lulaway Workforce Development Project – funded by the City of Cape Town – runs a three-year training programme to assist jobseekers prepare for the world of work.
Since the beginning of 2011, the organisation has registered over 516 149 young people on its jobseekers’ database, trained 5 472 and placed 2 968 in permanent jobs, ranging from administrative positions, to general work, security, sales, beauty and contact centre operations.
One of the beneficiaries is Beauty Mnxulu (26), who lives in the township of Khayelitsha. After four long years of struggling to find work, Beauty signed up for Lulaway’s job readiness programme. She is now employed as a Fidelity recruitment agent.
“When I went to the job readiness training, even that was a dream come true for me because the people who were teaching us did it with passion. I knew it was going to help me find a job and not long after, I was employed. I meet different people every day; people are struggling to find work but I am determined to help. Because of what I was taught by the Lulaway people, I am doing my job with passion and I love what I do,” says Mnxulu.
Another Khayelitsha resident, Zikhona Yeko (24) also struggled to find work but after participating in the programme, she is now working as a sales agent for Cell C.
“The struggles I went through are part of my success because they made me strong,” Yeko said.
The city’s member of the mayoral committee for economic opportunities, James Vos, said the programme is a success story of how working with partners can overcome the challenges of unemployment.