Skills are increasingly important in the globalized world, and skills development is essential for increasing the productivity and sustainability of enterprises, as well as improving working conditions and the employability skills of youth. Employers nowadays are looking for applicants who have versatile and technical skills.
For the past three years, Her Initiative has implemented a youth volunteering program to create a workforce that is skilled, dynamic, and innovative in the youth nonprofit space. Surprisingly in this program, one of the key highlights was not just limited job opportunities for youth but rather a lack of employability skills that will enhance their competence in the job market.
During our recruitment initial screening, most volunteering applicants had poor CVs whereas the CVs did not have enough details to help them stand out, Poor email presentations that had no subject, or content or with a lot of grammatical errors, and Poor interview skills were one fails to present themselves well and poor persuasive skills as to why one should be given the opportunity. These are some of the challenges that if addressed would increase the chances for youth to win some of the existing job opportunities.
As an organization, we have been overwhelmed with many applications compared to our intake capacity. We select very few volunteers yearly who get to work with us, are attached to our departments, and climb the ladders as interns and later as full-time employees.
After thorough thought, we designed a Volunteers Employability Boot camp. This is a strategy that looks forward to shaping, skills, and increasing youth competence that would qualify them for other volunteering, internship, or job opportunities as only a few would be attached to the organizations. The Volunteers Employability Boot camp took place for the first time in July this year (2022) providing training and coaching to youth on employability skills. It looked at all gaps on written and oral sides of view to ensure that young people are prepared for job opportunities coming in the future.
The Volunteers Employability Boot camp had more than 50 young people out of 275 who applied for the volunteering program at Her initiative. Some of the employability skills that were covered are CV writing, how to compose an email, Interview skills, how to work in a team, and problem-solving.
The forum was honored with the attendance of vibrant trainers who had relevant skills that needed to be addressed. Mr. Kennedy Mmari who is the founder of Serengeti Bytes Company made his contribution to youth employability skills as quoted “at a job interview as you explain your previous work experience, make sure you talk about the responsibilities together with the achievement attained in the role”
Ms. Coletta Mutagabwa who is the senior resource mobilization Coordinator EA at Restless Development also added the point on Problem-solving skills in workspaces as she said, “Having emotional intelligence is crucial in solving problems that may arise in workspace” and Ms. Juliana Peter a talent lead officer from Niajiri platform also narrated a point on value addition in workplaces as she was quoted saying “Youth need to add value on their workspaces and maintain creativity”
This Boot Camp has equipped youth on how workspaces operate, gives young people a better understanding of the world of work, and improves their employment eligibility. In addition, the training enhanced youth with a better understanding of employers’ needs and judgment during the recruitment processes.
As a testament from one of the beneficiaries, ”through this Boot camp, I have improved my interviewing skills, learned how to work with others, and clearly, these skills will help me in my future workspace” Maxine Limbu (Beneficiary)