Cape Town mayor Patricia de Lille. File photo: Supplied/CoCT

Cape Town - The City of Cape Town has launched an outcomes-based workforce development programme to improve residents’ access to employment opportunities, the city said on Sunday.

The three-year programme held in collaboration with Lulaway Holdings aimed to reduce the number of discouraged work seekers by identifying, preparing, and placing them in education, training, and ultimately securing permanent work opportunities for them, mayor Patricia de Lille said.

With a focus on youth and those living in high-density and traditionally marginalised areas, the programme aimed to help 30 000 unemployed residents, provide work-readiness skills training to 6000 programme participants, and subsequently to place 4050 candidates in various employment opportunities. This would be achieved through industry partnerships which would ensure that training was directly linked to employers’ talent needs, she said.

The announcement came as a beacon of hope to a city where the general unemployment rate was 21.7 percent and the youth unemployment rate remained stubbornly high at 52 percent.

"Despite Cape Town’s unemployment statistics being better than other cities in South Africa, they are still unacceptably high. The city hopes that this initiative will support the unemployed by not only preparing them for possible education or employment opportunities, but also linking them directly to opportunities and hopefully helping them to secure well paid jobs in growing economic sectors," De Lille said.

Lulaway Holdings, a social enterprise which specialises in screening, training, and job placement of the unemployed, had been appointed to implement the three-year programme.

"The employment services landscape is currently complex; there are many service providers but no co-ordinated system. This makes it difficult for both employers and jobseekers to find and access the services and support they need, at the right place and right time," Lulaway CEO Jake Willis said.

"Through this programme, we want to co-ordinate actions in order to increase efficiencies and effectiveness of services for both employers and jobseekers. The programme will set up strong delivery models which overcome the spatial and support service accessibility faced by residents in Cape Town," he said.

"We have committed to opening 20 Lulaway job centres or digital kiosks in high-density areas across Cape Town. We will be working with local partners that will incorporate Lulaway job centres into their existing service offerings," Willis said.

The first component of the programme entails job seekers going to the job centres and registering their profiles on the City of Cape Town job seeker database hosted on the Lulaway portal. Job seeker profiles would be instantly accessible to both corporates and SMMEs looking for staff.

The second component is work readiness training. Suitable applicants would be shortlisted for job openings and offered work readiness skills training to increase their chances of retaining their jobs. This kind of training is critical to optimise the chances of unemployed people succeeding in the workplace. The world-class curriculum covers workplace expectations, conduct, communication, customer service, and personal financial management. The third and final component is facilitating placements within the private sector. 

"This is an ideal opportunity for the public and private sector, job seekers, and government to work together towards reducing high levels of unemployment. We can only make progress and really assist those who are unemployed if we work together," De Lille said.

African News Agency/ANA