Menu

Harambee a ‘dating service’ that gets young South Africans into work

17th Jul 2018

Johannesburg – A few years ago, Thabo Ngwato’s job prospects looked bleak.

After graduating from high school, he started studying at the University of Johannesburg – but was forced to drop out when his mother retired and cash ran short.

For a year and a half he hung around his home in a poor township in Boksburg, east of Johannesburg, playing football with friends and occasionally making job applications in town.

He got no response – not a surprise in a country with one of the world’s most persistently high youth unemployment rates.

In South Africa, a record 5.5 million young people are searching for work unsuccessfully, many living in slums far from big employers.

But one day a friend mentioned to Ngwato he had found work through Harambee, a South African “youth employment accelerator” that links talent-hungry businesses with promising poor kids.

“The best description I’ve heard is that we’re a dating service and a finishing school,” said Lebo Nke, an executive at the Johannesburg-based social enterprise, which since 2011 has helped more than 50,000 youths find work, including Ngwato.

For the past two years, the 23-year-old has worked at a Johannesburg call centre, earning enough to support his mother and nephew. He recently bought his first car to speed up his three-minibus trip to work.

“I know how to network, look for employment. The skills are ones I can take anywhere,” he said.

To read the rest of this article and to watch the related videos, please click here. 

Other Interesting Articles

Accelerating English through binge watching

5th Apr 2019

"We tried a few different things, one of them was to include a “debate” on which character in Friends would make the best parent"
SME

Successfully bringing entry-level staff into an SME

15th Mar 2018

It’s time now to invite SMEs to step up to the challenge of improving their employment practices. Doing so doesn’t require an HR department, it requires time, planning and consideration.

Getting to the meat of it – a demand for butchers

26th Feb 2019

Strange but true; there's a demand in South African for butchers. This scarcity is in part driven by the high cost of a year-long learnership that the industry deems as the trusted credential to do the work.