Joburg youths climb on the Vulindlel’ eJozi bandwagon
Vulindlel’ eJozi, a City of Johannesburg initiative aimed at breaking down barriers to employment opportunities for “disengaged youths” aged between 18 and 34, has taken off, with an average of 400 young people a day registering for the programme online.
This was confirmed by Bryony Maxwell, Head of Marketing at Harambee, a private-sector organisation that has partnered with the City on the programme to create opportunities for the city’s youth.
Registrations started on Tuesday to coincide with 39th anniversary of June 16 1976, the day when, at the height of apartheid rule, Soweto youths took to the streets to protest against Bantu Education. Maxwell said she had expected the registration numbers to be much higher than they were.
“But it’s early days yet. We expect the numbers to increase steadily as word gets round about the programme,” says Maxwell. She has encouraged the youth to self-register on the http://vulindlelejozi.mobi site.
Those without internet access have been encouraged to register at the City’s regional community centres or to access the mobi site from City libraries and free City Wi-Fi hotspots. Harambee field workers will also undertake several registration drives in informal and under-serviced areas.
Vulindlel’ eJozi was launched on June 1 by Executive Mayor Councillor Parks Tau, who described it as “a call to action”. He said the programme would enable the current generation of youth to shape a future society.
“We are a city where the young lead the call for transformation, demanding the opportunity to work, to improve their lives and to become the best they can be. [Ours is] a city that knows that, with a little help, our youth are not the challenge some think they are but our greatest asset,” said at the launch.
With more than 800 000 unemployed youths in Johannesburg, the Mayor said the success of Vulindlel’ eJozi would be linked to the determination of the youths involved.
The programme will not only look at work placements for registered youth but also at tackling other entry barriers such as work readiness and foundation numeracy, literacy and digital literacy levels by providing training.
Through Vulindlel’ eJozi young people will also be able to access learnerships and apprenticeship opportunities to improve their permanent employment eligibility and raise earning potential. Self-registered youths will be contacted by Harambee and will undergo screening, assessments and advisory services.
The programme will then identify and create opportunities for young people based on their aptitudes and capabilities. The programme will also facilitate the placement of appropriate candidates in training and education programmes.