Fleet solutions provider, Cartrack has launched its new socio-economic development work-skills programme to benefit previously disadvantaged young men and women. So far, 180 unemployed youth aged between 20 and 30 years have participated. The majority of participants reside in Alexandra and Soweto in Johannesburg, Gauteng.
The company has already employed 21 people from the first intake and plans to create further job opportunities in the future as the business grows.
Programme participants are being trained in basic workplace and office skills that are essential to working in a call centre, and they will also be grounded in Cartrack’s customer-centric culture and superior service principles.
On completion of the three-week programme, participants will be awarded a Certificate of Competence from the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Sector Education and Training Authority (MICT SETA). The first group of participants are expected to receive their MICT SETA Certificate of Competence early this year.
Enhancing business intelligence
The best candidates will be identified from this pool of talent to participate in its call centre recruitment process, further contributing towards job creation.
Neo Nkobo, head of human capital for Cartrack, explains why the programme has been initiated: "Our commitment to providing superior, quality technology and becoming a world leader in innovative mobility solutions means that we’re on a steep growth path, with expanding operations in South Africa and other markets across the globe. As a result, we have embarked on an aggressive recruitment drive focusing particularly on our contact centres and technical staff who are on the frontlines of service delivery and providing our customers with peace of mind. We are already employing our new call centre intakes from this group.
"Ultimately, we are seeking only the best talent to fit our high-performance and trusted customer-centric culture, and to help us enhance our sophisticated business intelligence platforms and industry-leading safety and security products even further."
Clara Sebueng, a 24-year-old participant in the programme, says that she is excited about how the programme will further her career: "I’m so grateful to be able to gain new skills. I plan to make the most of this opportunity and use it to my full advantage."
This sentiment is echoed by another participant, 25-year-old Lerato Ntsane: "This is a great opportunity that will hopefully give me valuable experience for my future work life."
With youths aged between 15 and 34 accounting for 63% of unemployed people in the country, the rapidly growing call centre industry offers a low barrier of entry to unemployment for young people, as well as access to credible employment and further career development opportunities.
Equipping youth with digital skills
Further, as South Africa and the rest of the world prepares for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, it is critical that young people are equipped with the digital skills required to expand their opportunities.
Nkobo concludes that the programme will support the company's drive to assist in socio-economic development: "We are committed to making a difference in the communities that we serve and have invested in a number of skills programmes aimed at uplifting individuals and young people in particular.
"Our work-entry skills programme is the latest initiative in this regard and we are extremely excited to see the talent that will emerge from this group of young adults, who already seem very eager to absorb knowledge and learn new skills."
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We were part of the program... My self and the other participants are asking ourselves how the selection process came about, we were always attending even when we were given stories about the transportation money that was promised to us, initially we gave it our all made sure that we outshine the rest and participate in the given tasks. Yet they still selected the very same people we were assisting and were mostly absent from the program.