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Education And Training

Youth empowerment, one talent at a time

Momentum collaboration boasts 61 youths enrolled in skills programme and 50 employed

Youth unemployment is increasing year-on-year at concerning levels. The statistic of *26,7% has touched the lives of all South Africans and in some way we are all left to deal with the resulting consequences. Crime and poverty check the top of the list of social ills, and with a hopeful solve in mind, Momentum, supported by the MMI Foundation, and Ubuntu Pathways (UP) Job Skills Training Programme has forged a partnership.

This dynamic collaboration focuses on providing youth with valuable skills and empowers them for the working world. “We’re off to a great start! The partnership has resulted in 61 youths enrolled in skills development programmes, and of them 50 youths have already been placed in full time employment. Approximately 28% of South Africans are part of the ‘sandwich generation’ which means that 50 employed individuals stretch their pay cheques to financially support a number of children, elderly parents, and other family members. The momentum of being employed has a ripple effect beyond only 50 people,” this is according to Charlene Lackay, Group CSI Manager: MMI Group Marketing.

The youths are all based in the Eastern Cape, specifically situated in Zwide, greater Port Elizabeth. This is a great example of how partnerships between corporate and local businesses can make an impact. Gcobani Zonke, Deputy President of Ubuntu Pathways says, “We work tirelessly to form relationships with local business, and so far we have managed to secure almost 160 corporate partners. These partners are invaluable as they are on board to employ our candidates whenever an opportunity becomes available. It is so encouraging to place a candidate with an employer, and for us to be a part the individual’s journey to success.”

The youth targeted through this programme are exposed to workshops on employability skills (guide to the workplace, interviewing skills 101, and how to proactively take advantage of opportunities) and one-one-one professionalism coaching. Most importantly, this results in an inclusion in a job-seeking pool.

The organisation’s work is rooted in four foundational pillars:

  • Cradle to career – which commits to a lifetime of change;
  • Impact through depth –  focus on lives transformed not lives touched;
  • For the community by the community – trust those closest to the problem to create the solution
  • Built to last; invest in an institution that will stand the test of time.

“Through these pillars the programme has been able to create a robust system that not only delivers on employability but is also sustainable,” adds Zonke.

“We are of the belief that by empowering even one youth, we are providing a source of income to a household of people who need it the most. We partner with our youths, not only to achieve their career goals, but their financial goals too. We offer a springboard to young people to attain the professional skills needed for a sustainable income; but most importantly, we hope to build healthy communities – one talented youth at a time,” concludes Lackay.

For more on the programme, please see,, and twitter @UbuntuPathways.

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