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Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator: Working with Youth & Businesses to Employ 10,000 Young People this Year

The Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator is a non-profit organization in South Africa that is working to place 10,000 unemployed young people into long-term jobs by the end of 2014. Harambee focuses on youth coming from disadvantaged backgrounds with less than 1 year of experience and looking for full time work.

Photo of Jason Rissman
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Harambee is a youth employment accelerator that was set up by a group of employers who were faced with the challenges of employing and keeping first-time workers, and who also want to address the high unemployment levels among young South Africans. Harambee is funded by the government Jobs Fund and works with over 50 large corporate employers across the country such as Hollard, Woolworths, Nando‚Äôs, Direct Axis, Ster Kinekor, Pink n Pay and Burger King.

Harambee sources candidates from a large pool of young people with high potential but limited work experience, then assesses them and prepares them for possible work opportunities at the right employer in the area they live in. According to Harambee, research shows that if first-time workers are permanently employed for a full year, they have a better chance of sustained employment and career opportunities for the rest of their lives. 

More information on Harambee can be found on their website and their YouTube Channel

I was thrilled to learn about Harambee's approach of working with employer and young people. Connecting employers' needs and interests with the training offered to young people seems a strategy with a lot of potential. I'm eager to learn more, especially:
  • Is this program working? How can it be improved?
 
  • What can the businesses and young people working with Harambee tell us about how this program has made a difference to them? 
 
  • What are can employers and youth in other regions learn from the Harambee team, its partners and the young people it serves?

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Photo of Abiola Oyebanjo

Great. I believe that rather than looking far ahead for unemployment or underemployment solutions for young people, the solution is nigh. What of the skills people already have, how can we coalesce them to work? This is what Harambee is doing and it should work anywhere. The more unemployed youth are integrated into risk taking or some sort of work experience modules, it builds their confidence to take up positions for a long time. They don't have to depend on anyone again as they integrate into the labour force especially while learning from those that know how to do it well. They cant afford to go back....

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