It was a privilege for Careerlinx to conduct two days of job readiness training with Grace Aid candidates working closely with Demitra Nicolau the Grace Aid co-ordinator who has been facilitating various skills development courses with them i.e. sewing skills, cabling skills etc.. It is a part of Careerlinx mission to partner with other non-profits and organisations by providing services that work hand in hand with theirs, the way we see it being a link in a chain of interventions focused on empowering the disadvantaged individuals in South Africa. Our motto “ Together We Can”
This group of unemployed individuals ranged from the very entry level person who would be a gardener or domestic worker to those with retail experience, security experience, maintenance skills, carpentry and degrees.
When asked about their dreams it was very sad to hear that although most of them had dreams and hopes the main thing that held them back was lack of funds and opportunity to realize those dreams. So in the end their most urgent need is to find gainful employment so that they can feed their children and take care of their families.
They also went on to tell us about the challenges when they apply for positions. The pay is very low and does not cover taxi fares, the work opportunities available are too far away from their homes. The very sad challenge is that even when they have found employment they do not have taxi fare to get there resulting in them losing their jobs. These are just a few challenges facing the unemployed from disadvantaged communities in Kwazulu Natal.
The other very real challenges include, lack of necessary qualifications, skills and also a gap between coming from a disadvantaged community that is worlds apart from entering into a workplace environment. We were able to help them prepare for process of applying for the jobs and give them some work ethic tips, but there is so much more preparation required to be able to create a bridge from their world to the working world in SA.
Quoting an article recently posted online by Business essentials
“Workplace Readiness is a critical step to Skills development and can often be a major challenge for first-time entrants into the workplace. This often results in additional pressure for employers and employees alike. A lack of exposure, limited knowledge of the business environment and the underdeveloped interpersonal or soft skills of many young entrants (especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds) are just some of the challenges facing previously unemployed candidates.
“Bridging the gap into the working world is thus a critical first step in addressing the need for larger talent pools within business and industry, and certainly a step that corporate South Africa can actively participate in,” says Imogen Rossam. Workplace readiness programmes offer a great means for organisations to prepare first-time entrants into the workplace, as they aim to develop critical soft skills that provide a sound basis to a successful career.”
Careerlinx offers the service of facilitating job linkage for unemployed candidates on our database and are now embarking on facilitating a more intensive work preparation soft skills course in order to create the bridge for unemployed candidate and their work place experience.
We ask corporates to support us on this journey as we try and facilitate this and increase the impact we have on unemployed candidates we are trying to empower. Corporates can engage by donating CSI and Skills development spend. This will also benefit companies when they hire candidates that have been more prepared to enter the workplace. It is a win- win. To find out how you can be part of making a difference and contribute please email Rachel Engelbrecht at firstname.lastname@example.org