Young people experience a significant roadblock when looking for a job: the financial cost of job-seeking. Heavy data costs and transport remain one of the largest expenses they have to face. Recently, the use of data-light platforms has emerged as a means of reducing job-seeking costs.
Mintor is on a mission to mitigate the high rate of youth unemployment in South Africa. Mintor leverages chat-based platforms like Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Telegram to help young job-seekers build their CVs directly from their phones; well-presented CVs improve job-seekers’ chances of being interviewed, and young people are able to apply for jobs directly from the chatbot. The platform connects job-seekers to potential employers, and uses Artificial Intelligence tools that streamline Human Resources processes, improve employee engagement, and enable workplace development.
The value-add for us as young people is great! Through its intervention, Mintor eliminates the need for computers or internet cafes; by doing so, it drastically reduces the cost of copying or editing documents, travel costs, and mobile data costs. Mintor also helps young people develop interview skills and soft skills and they provide access to profiling assessments and career guidance. In addition, Mintor helps young job-seekers get interviews on Whatsapp.
The digital divide is an added roadblock. In this sense, Mintor aims to empower digitally disconnected communities as its data-light solution for job-seeking has a deep reach to urban, peri-urban and rural areas. The impact goes beyond reducing the financial costs associated with job-seeking. According to Mintor, there is a 5 times better chance that young people will get an interview and job-seekers are also 70% more likely to keep their first job.
Though the cost of job-seeking is a major roadblock young people experience, Mintor offers a solution that is creating a pathway to connect young job-seekers to the job market.
Make Job-Seeking Affordable
According to the Siyakha Study from 2019, young job-seekers spend an average of R938 per month looking for work. Youth Capital’s research report, ‘Beyond the Cost’ confirmed that three years later, these costs have not yet been reduced. The majority of young job-seekers report spending up to R500 a month on data and up to R500 a month on transport. Simultaneously, the cost of living continues to increase. The April 2022 Household Affordability Index by the Pietermaritzburg Economic Justice and Dignity Group showed that the average cost of the Household Food Basket was R4 542.93.
Moreover, ‘Beyond the Cost’ reflects the impact of COVID-19 on household income; with many people losing their jobs, 8 in 10 young people had to choose between buying food and going for interviews. As young people, many of us give up looking for work because the costs are too high.
This is why Youth Capital calls for young job-seekers to be supported through increased skills matching (with job opportunities), financial support, relevant public programmes, and technology that can decrease the cost of looking for work.
Mintor is Part of the Action
Mintor is Part of the Action, having signed Youth Capital’s Action Plan to make job-seeking more affordable, accessible and inclusive.