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Tackling youth unemployment is everyone’s business

Summit and Anglo American Zimele have partnered with Giraffe to help give unemployed youth the best possible chance to succeed.

Summit together with Anglo American Zimele have partnered with South Africa’s premium online recruitment platform, Giraffe to aid unemployed youth find the best possible match for potential employers in their area.

The Anglo American Zimele project is focused on recruiting, upskilling and creating employment opportunities for unemployed youth within Anglo’s mining communities. Summit is managing the training arm of the project for Anglo American Zimele, while Giraffe is providing the recruitment platform to further assist trained youth find suitable employment.

The aim of this partnership is to improve the livelihoods of young South Africans living in Anglo American’s host communities by providing them with relevant skills development to enable them to take advantage of employment opportunities in the tourism and hospitality sector.

In addition to the Youth Development Programme, the Zimele service delivery model incorporates mentorship and advisory services, market linkages and loan funding services as a key part of the Supplier Development Programme and Enterprise Development Programme for Anglo American host communities.

The core of the training is based on practical skills’ programmes and part-time qualifications within the hospitality and food services sector, both of which are in high demand by placement partners working with the team on the project.

To further entrench the sound training methods, the team is also utilising mobile technology in combination with practical training in order to provide a robust approach for learners to gain the maximum learning benefit. It’s a synergistic effect that is best suited to the nature of the Anglo American Zimele project.

“Access to the digital platforms allow us not to leave our communities behind as we enter the fast-paced digital economic environment and we have to work with multiple partners, put our heads together and come up with ways to overcome those challenges that inhibit effective communication and innovation,” says Larisha Naidoo, Head of Anglo American Zimele.

The youth are being trained in trades within the hospitality and tourism sector and this training is incorporated into the Zimele Youth Development Programme’s existing workforce readiness programme for youth in our host communities.

“We have also tailored our programmes to utilise digital learning platforms and this includes some of the work that summit is doing currently,” she adds.

Although the hospitality sector has declined in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s still an industry that can employ large volumes of individuals both globally and locally. It’s also an industry where currently, many entry- or junior-level employees should, ideally, be at a higher skill level. Therefore, a significant opportunity exists for learners entering these levels of positions who have been through reputable training programmes.

The blended training programmes consist of practical-based instruction in kitchens, as well as simulation rooms, and interactive online learning. Delivery of the online component also involves coaching and mentoring sessions by a qualified facilitator which occurs via the Summit Fuse learner experience platform and mobile app.

Smart devices and data sims have been distributed to the learners in order for them to access the online learning and designated resources via their profile on the Giraffe platform. The learners not only have access to their practical learning pathways, but also three other programmes to augment their skill-set. This further enables the best possible opportunity for the learners to access employment prospects once the sector opens up again.

Support for the logistical elements of the operation is being managed by the TechnoServe team who is running the Zimele education hubs. The most critical aspect of the project is fulfilling the placement of learners, which is why Giraffe’s involvement is a key factor to the projected success of efficiently placing learners once they qualify. The technology that has been issued to each learner is also linked up to the Giraffe recruitment app for easy access to the job boards.

According to Matt Lambert, Summit Managing Director, “the skill-set that many of these learners are acquiring through this practical and online learning approach are in areas where we facilitate the training development for clients such as Sun International, Shoprite, McDonald’s and Stratogo. Therefore, we clearly understand the demand that exists for this type of skill-set. The collaboration with the various companies involved is an incredibly positive story which has already enabled the delivery of innovative learning and an online job portal right into the learners’ hand. All the while ensuring that practical component of the learning adheres to the industry requirements. Overcoming the issues of accessibility, has paved the way for the future of training which we are confident will help to address the issue of youth unemployment and we encourage any other companies who are keen to get on board to contact us.”