South Africa is a nation of remarkable beauty and diversity, but it also grapples with one of the highest youth unemployment rates globally. The dire need for solutions in this challenging landscape has led Boldr to join forces with Life Choices, an impactful organization based in Cape Town. This strategic partnership is a commitment to driving positive change in a country where employment opportunities can be transformative.
The importance of fair and equal education
A study conducted by the United Nations on the topic of Youth and Employment stated that 10.6% of young people are non-literate. Further studies have shown that literacy has a direct impact on an individual’s employment status and duration of employment, as well as their earning potential as an entrepreneur.
Focusing on South Africa, youth unemployment refers specifically to unemployed individuals aged 18 to 34 years. With a strained labor market and consistently having the worst youth unemployment rate in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, youths find themselves at an incredible disadvantage when they lack the necessary skills to compete for positions.
In 2022, StatsSA found that only 2.4% of unemployed youths had a university degree. While access to technology, infrastructure, challenging socio-economic conditions, or complicated living arrangements could make degrees unattainable for people living in rural communities, it still hints at the possibility that new skills could open a door to employment opportunities.
Through our impact sourcing efforts in Hazyview, we experienced first-hand how skills development could impact individuals and the extended community where they live. This is why we were excited to collaborate with another partner in South Africa.
The Boldr and Life Choices Partnership
Boldr’s partnership with Life Choices is not just a collaboration but a catalyst for change. Life Choices, with its history of influencing over 200,000 lives since 2005, brings a wealth of experience and a commitment to providing choices, not charity. The alignment of values between Boldr and Life Choices further cements the mission to make a real difference in the community.
The collaboration aims to address the core challenges of education and employment by focusing on technical skills development. Life Choices will source and train young individuals from the local community with a clear goal: to equip them with the skills needed for the digital transformation and the rapidly evolving job market.
Boldr’s pledge to find suitable employment opportunities for trained individuals signifies a holistic approach to the partnership. It’s not just about imparting skills but also about creating a sustainable impact on the lives of South African youth. The emphasis on education and empowerment reflects the belief that every individual, regardless of their background, deserves an equal opportunity to thrive.
Earlier this year, the first candidates were sourced by Life Choices and entered an extensive training program. In August, following the completion of their training, these four individuals became Boldr Team Members and were able to put their new tech skills to good use as specialized technical support for one of our e-commerce clients. The first exercise was a success and the Team Members are growing in their positions. We hope to have larger contingents finding placement in 2024.
From left to right: From left to right: Rameez Fredericks (Boldr), Olivia Nkulu (Boldr), Nancy Gurd (Caraway), Alana Benavides (Caraway), and Ryan Geel (Life Choices)
During a visit to Cape Town, South Africa, the Caraway team met with Ryan Geel, Campus Director of Life Choices, to hear more about their impact sourcing partnership with Boldr and their ongoing impact initiatives in the community.
Investing in the youth of South Africa
The country has so much to offer for businesses that are interested in outsourcing specific functions, such as administrative or technical customer support while covering a different time zone. With the ever-expanding Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, South Africa is ticking so many different boxes. Boldr is always looking for a more proactive approach to address the state of youth unemployment by finding solutions that will have a sustained positive impact.
James Fouche is the Content Manager at Boldr, as well as an author and a columnist. He is passionate about sharing his love of reading and writing with others.