EvenMe! an online portal and app aimed at inspiring and motivating the youth to be the best version of themselves has announced that it is partnering with Harambee to offer its users a means to connect with employers looking for entry-level and young, high-potential job-seekers, currently locked out of the formal economy.

The EvenMe! Harambee partnership will offer professional assistance and training in life and computer skills before supporting young individuals in being placed into the working world. The added benefit for potential employers is that they receive upskilled and assessed candidates.

Explains Jill Young, co-founder of EvenMe!: “Many South African youth are lacking life skills which are a prerequisite global competency. No matter where you are in the world, you need to be competent and confident in applying life skills to enjoy success.”

Adds Young: “A good life skills development programme should incorporate a myriad of learnings including complex problem solving, critical thinking, creativity, people management, coordinating with others, emotional intelligence, judgement and decision making, service orientation, negotiation and cognitive flexibility skills.

These are the foundation of increasing employability no matter what specific and defined skills are being learnt or taught,” she says. “Ultimately, any skills development programme should include life skills.”

The partnership was born out of a need for tangible interventions that enable young South Africans to actively participate and engage in society and the economy. The aim is also to address the marginalisation of young people that manifests in high youth unemployment. “In a job-scarce environment, an environment that often breeds low self-esteem, joining the working world can be particularly difficult for young people,” Young says.

Youth unemployment is not just a local problem – in 2013 the International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimated that, at a global level, 73.4 million young people who want to work and are actively looking for a job cannot find one. About one out of every two young people (52.9 percent) is unemployed or a discouraged job-seeker, and not enrolled at an educational institution (ILO 2013). The ILO report also states that the world is facing a worsening youth employment crisis, where young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.

South Africa is not immune to this global trend. According to the South African June 2014 labour force survey, 36.1 percent of young people between the ages of 15 and 35 are unemployed, which is almost double the 15.6 percent of adults aged between 35 and 64 who are unemployed.

The labour absorption rate for adults is 57.8 percent, almost twice that of young people, at 30.8 percent. Young women face even higher levels of unemployment – 34.5 percent of young women are neither employed nor at school, including further and higher education, compared to 29.9 percent of young men.

“We need to prevent the profound personal and social effects of unemployment,” says Young. “Young people who cannot earn their own living find it difficult to move out of their parents’ homes and be self-sustainable, and that they are often marginalised by their communities, unable to find a way to engage meaningfully with society.

Creating a thought process within our youth, for them to take charge of their future is the ultimate goal of youth development, and thus the reason for the partnership,” she concludes.

Youngsters can benefit from this partnership by taking these easy steps

  1. Go to www.evenme.co.za
  2. Follow the Harambee link
  3. Register on the mobile website

They will be scanned for eligibility and directed on the next steps by Harambee.