Eleven young adults completed the inaugural Umzi Wethu Livelihoods Programme on October 6. The programme is one of the Wilderness Foundation’s social intervention projects aimed at the youth of the Eastern Cape and will benefit up to 300 job seekers per year.
“The Umzi Wethu Livelihoods Programme aims to equip job seekers with the skills required to find work and to become valuable employees,” says facilitator, Heinrich Terblanche. “The programme combines an established job readiness training programme (Work 4A Living) together with a comprehensive life skills programme.”
The Programme targets job seekers between the ages of 18 and 35 years and consists of 20 workshops presented over a five week period.
It caters for individual job seekers who make contact with the programme through their own job search efforts as well as through Umzi Wethu partner organizations that are already working with youth in the Province.
“Job readiness and life skills are the two major components of the programme,” says Terblanche. Through these components, we aim to empower young job seekers and ensure that they are better prepared to enter the world of work. We give them training on how to take responsibility for their own physical health and wellness, and we also teach them about environmental issues and their personal impact on the environment”
Instead of simply migrating from job to job, students are taught how to conduct professional job interviews, build up a skills portfolio, grow and develop in their jobs by working to a standard of excellence and having a good work ethic. Entrepreneurship is also addressed in the training.
According to programme graduate, Zikhona Yona (22), the programme has helped her build confidence when it comes to job interviews. “I know how to be professional in an interview now. I am looking forward to applying for jobs because I feel more informed by this programme.”
Nonkululeko Mbalo (24) agrees. “I learned that I don’t have to be afraid when I go for an interview. I know that I must be confident, and smile because I can offer valuable skills to my employer. I would definitely recommend this programme to others.”
Mkholiseni Sondiyaza (22) from Kwazakhele in Port Elizabeth is keen to get a job in the customer services industry. “I learned a lot about how to treat customers from this programme, and want to get a job working with people.”
The next Umzi Wethu Livelihoods Programme will begin on Wednesday, October 19. Programme orientation begins on Monday, October 17.
For more information on the programme and how to register, please call Heinrich or Lulu on 041 374 0746.
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