On 19 November 2016, HR Managers from the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP) visited the offices of the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator to conduct mock interviews with the country’s youth. These youngsters are part of the Harambee’s intake of youth who are being trained as part of the work readiness programme. As senior HR Professionals, the SABPP HR Professionals are specialists in interview skills, given the fact that they are often involved in interviews when recruiting and selecting staff for their own organisations. It was therefore quite easy for the SABPP members to do these interviews, thereby sharing their professional HR skills with the youth in preparing them for the workplace.
The youngsters trained by Harambee will next week go for real interviews at three companies, and these mock interviews were used to prepare them for their interviews the following week. Thus, the youngers all received feedback from the mock interviews. They will now improve their CVs after receiving feedback from the HR Managers, in addition to the lessons they learned during the interviews. It was clear to the HR Managers that the Harambee pool of youngsters are ready to embark on the next phase of their career journey and that is to gain their first opportunity in obtaining work experience. Once they are placed, there is an 85% success rate in securing employment. This first opportunity in opening the door at an employer is therefore of paramount importance.
The HR Professionals participated in this special work readiness programme as part of the SABPP HR Citizen Committee. The purpose of the HR Citizen Committee is to create meaningful high impact opportunities for HR Professionals to become active citizens in their own profession and society at large.
The other major project pursued by the HR Citizen Committee is the Partners for Possibility project, an education initiative to improve the quality of education in under-resourced schools. The Chairperson of the SABPP HR Citizen Committee is Sivaan Marie, an HR Executive at one of the top companies on the JSE. The committee consists of different HR professionals who are all committed to make a difference to society in tackling the big four problems in South African society, i.e. education, poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Mosanku Pholo, Bongi Ndaba, Marius Meyer and Che Govender from the SABPP HR Citizen Committee at the Harambee offices in Johannesburg
SABPP will continue to work with Harambee in accelerating youth employment in South Africa. HR Professionals interested to make a difference to society, are welcome to contact the SABPP Customer Service Officer, Bongi Ndaba on firstname.lastname@example.org or (011) 045 5400.
Marius Meyer is CEO of the SA Board for People Practices (SABPP).