This is my third year at Cell C. A mother of two and guardian of one boy I am passionate about my work and believe that there should be a balance between business and society. I have a BCom in Business Management and Industrial Psychology and have an MBA which was a game changer because it broadened my mind and my world view.
When it comes to youth employment there must be collaboration between private and public entities and civil society, drawing on different strengths, resources and addressing societal challenges from many different angles as our youth unemployment is a multi-faceted challenge.
Whilst economic growth is critical to creating the capacity to absorb incoming supply of jobseekers, different players have a role in addressing some facets of helping young people navigate their way towards economic activity and viability to contribute positively to our society.
Whilst we are focused on driving the profit motive as a business, Cell C believes in balancing the business and societal compact.
Twenty years ago, Cell C launched the ‘Cell C Take a Girl Child to Workday’ programme which was a one-day in a year intervention; this was later extended to 2-days in a year.
In 2019 Cell C decided to include boys in the programme. Though this opportunity exposed the girls to a wider world, some of them went home to child-headed households, gender-based violence (GBV), teenage pregnancy, extreme poverty, and mental illness difficulties.
Then the question was, by focusing on career development only with ‘Take a Girl Child to Workday’ – which was fantastic when it started – the world had so vastly changed for young people that whatever career they chose was not the only challenge they had to grapple with. It became clear that focussing on careers only was not feasible and what was needed was to develop young people holistically. There was not just one silver bullet.
In 2022 SEE YOUTH Powered by Cell C was launched to serve as a holistic guide and enabler for young people to navigate life and assist them into adulthood with access to resources that contribute to the different aspects of their development along with career development, such as social relations, learning, entrepreneurship, and wellness, which comprises of physical, emotional, and mental health.
Young people do need help bridging the gap between leaving formalised learning at school and university and sometimes there is a mismatch in what young people are learning at school and university and what is needed in the world of work. Many do not know some basic life skills like how to create a good CV to send out into the world for example. They lack technology skills, access to technology is a challenge in some instances.
Today’s world of work requires soft skills to survive and thrive for example, emotional intelligence, how to build resilience, agility, and becoming multi-skilled. A pliable mind-set is needed to embark on continuous learning, to be greedy for knowledge, to evolve, and to pivot and change jobs when required.
Cell C seeks to address some of these by providing resources that young people can access on the SEE YOUTH zero rated platform: career profiling, partner workshops, young entrepreneurs’ guidance
We are also initiating the uncomfortable and much-needed conversations around how to raise children in a safe environment, how to deal with violence and how to reach out for assistance to curb the high rate of GBV through various events and podcasts under our SEE YOUTH programme, YouTube, and other social media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter).
Cell C’s initiatives draw on the strengths of different industries and role players.
Our other current partnerships/programmes to uplift young people are: