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Our Youth Bridge programme addresses solutions to youth unemployment

Some of our leaders at Christel House SA recently met with social transformation experts at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town, for the inaugural think tank of Youth Bridge, a new Christel House SA employment initiative. Youth Bridge supports unemployed youth (15 to 35-year-olds) and helps them bridge the gap between their undiscovered ambitions and abilities and the career opportunities that await them. It draws on lessons learnt from Christel House SA’s successful efforts over the past 22-years to support vulnerable youth to secure gainful employment.

Given the backdrop of South Africa’s high youth unemployment rate, our school engaged with experts on how to create sustainable and viable solutions around our new Youth Bridge Initiative. Key themes that were discussed included the perceived disconnect and mismatch of expectations between the youth and the South African industry, potential strategies that businesses and entrepreneurs can implement to generate new employment opportunities, how youth who come from vulnerable communities can be better supported and, most importantly, how a character-based, career-focused approach will support young work-seekers in their career journey.

Our Youth Bridge programme offers unemployed youth the opportunity to engage in a 6-month programme that includes full-time 1.5-month intensive contact sessions, bolstered by 4.5 months of longitudinal support and mentorship. Participants receive character development lessons, computer training, financial literacy education, career etiquette, establishing a career path and a psychometric assessment to assist in finding their passion. Thereafter, mentors connect graduates to further education opportunities to improve their skills and employability and eventually match them with potential employers.

“Youth Bridge recognises the challenges that the emerging workforce faces in not only securing employment opportunities but also in maintaining positions that offer growth potential for career advancement. Our role is to act as the unifying force, which brings our partners and youth together for a common purpose – to make a meaningful impact in the lives of the next generation,” said Ayanda Mvandaba, Managing Partner: 10X.

For more information on our 10X Youth Bridge Programme, email 10x@sa.christelhouse.org.

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