For a young South African, it’s really challenging to find ways to earn money and start a career; there are invisible obstacles that we face when trying to complete our education, looking for relevant employment or starting our own side hustle, and leveraging existing opportunities such as public employment programmes. With 3 in 10 South Africans younger than 15 years old, we need to prioritise ways that young people can grow skills the market needs. Ekasi Business Accelerator developed a local solution to address the skill issue.
Introducing Ekasi Business Accelerator.
Ekasi Business Accelerator is an Information Technology (IT) and Accounting non-profit organisation based in Alexandra, a township north of Johannesburg. Its founder, Phiroane ‘Phiri’ Maganyela recognised the high unemployment rate amongst young people in the township, as well as the lack of computer and IT skills. “The lack of IT skills among young people in Alex stops them from accessing available opportunities’’. Phiri said. The more qualified we as young people are, the higher our chance of being employed is. Conventional hiring practices leverage skills and qualifications to assess young people’s eligibility for potential jobs. “However, there are limited pathways for young people In Alex to grow skills that can move them forward”, Phiri added.
Ekasi Business Accelerator aims to bridge the gap between young job-seekers and potential employers. Young people want to be skilled, but they don’t get the support they need to do so. Community support makes a big difference in the lives of young people trying to transition into the job market.
Make job-seeking affordable.
According to Youth Capital’s research report, ‘Beyond the Cost’, the majority of young job-seekers report spending up to R500 a month on data and up to R500 a month on transport when looking for work. An effective way of reducing job-seeking costs is improving matching between a young person’s skills and the relevant job opportunities – but to do so, we need to identify what skills young people should grow in.
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.
Read more: Shift 2020
Ekasi Business Accelerator is Part of the Action
As young people, we have the responsibility to advocate for solutions that answer our real needs. “I graduated from Wits University and I am a qualified professional accountant. I have always had a passion for socio-economic development. I founded Ekasi with the hope to build a solid foundation that connects young people in Alex with opportunities”. This is why Ekasi has joined hands with Youth Capital and signed the Action Plan.
“I believe at the heart of the organisation succeeding is the need for the country to address the youth unemployment levels, which are alarming. I share in the goals and objectives of Youth Capital.”
You can also help! Phiri is looking out for computers for his new centre – if you can assist him and Ekasi, get in touch on 067 978 0767.