In October 2014, the COE put on its first ever Job Readiness Training, part of the Youth Employment Program.
The Youth Employment Program is a partnership with Project Concern International, the COE, Humana People to People, Hope World Wide and Bakgatla Bolokang Matshelo in Mochudi. The goal of the programme is to provide marginalized youth with the opportunity to gain meaningful employment leading to economic empowerment, self-reliance and individual accountability. Youth undergo a rigorous programme designed to develop new skills, attitudes and behaviours to become productive employees bringing value to the workforce. Youth who once had no prospect of gaining meaningful income, after achieving employment begin to feel socially and economically empowered and can start to move in a more positive direction in their lives.
YEP was developed by local NGOs working with marginalized populations, unemployed youth, high school drop outs and communities with little economic opportunities. Through this program, these youth can become productive, economically empowered Batswana.
Youth are not the only ones who benefit from this program. Participants said
“Through JRT, I learned about respect and how to use it in the workplace, this will help me get a good job”
-male, age 20”
Employers who employ graduates of YEP know that their employee has been carefully selected and trained prior to employment. Youth have skills that can set them above other employees. Skills such as managing workplace conflict, communication in the workplace, workplace ethics and code of conduct, gender in the work place and financial managing and budgeting all lead toward a competent employee.
The first cohort of YEP graduates was placed in employment with Peermont Global Botswana/Grand Plam, a five-star hotel and conference center in Gaborone. Currently, the program is looking to build other successful partnerships with other employees and businesses. These partnerships have a lasting impact on not only the organization but on Botswana as a whole by working towards empowering marginalize youth throughout this great country.
This training could not have been put on without generous support from KFC, who provided daily lunches as well as a providing staff to present on workplace communication. We look forward to continue to strengthen are relationship with KFC with incorporating them in future projects as well possibly even placing graduates of YEP in their employment opportunities.