JASA Success Skills graduates at Liberty Community College

Bank of Tokyo once again generously sponsored a JA Success Skills programme for Grade 10s at Liberty Community College

At the graduation ceremony for the 25 participants, JA South Africa Programme Coordinator Elias Sebola spoke to Keoni Mzila and Elaine Mlilo, who were lucky to also attend a job shadow at the funder’s offices.

Keoni Mzila expressed his gratitude to Bank of Tokyo for bringing this programme to their school, commenting that he had  learnt a lot about how to lead and how to communicate with other people, as well as how to build rapport.

“Before, I could not understand people who lash out but in this programme I have learnt that you will deal with many different kinds of people. I have also learnt to be confident, because without confidence you can’t be a leader. As a young person who wants to start his own business I have learnt that I should be confident and go for what I want. I would definitely refer this programme to other learners since it will build who they are and build their self esteem.”

When asked what she had learnt, Elaine Mlilo commented:

“I specifically love being a leader but in this course I have learned the value of team work and the importance of each member in the team being able to showcase their talent. I have also learnt about the importance of building rapport and how to handle various situations, should they arise. I am not so good at that yet but I am working on it. I have attended a lot of these kind of courses but this has been the best.”

Some of the students also wrote glowing testimonials, such as this one by Ntoenhle Nkomo:



Nelly Mofokeng attended Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment conference

Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment conference – Nelly Mofokeng reports back

In early October the Jobs Summit ended with an ambitious agreement that entailed a target of creating around a quarter of a million new jobs annually. This was followed by the fifth annual Accelerating Inclusive Youth Employment conference, convened in Stellenbosch towards the end of October, by Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, the Presidency, the Human Resources Development Council of SA, Yellowwood, and the Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection.

JA South Africa MD Nelly Mofokeng was one of the 250 leaders from business, government, labour, and the social sector who came together to shape a path forward to ensure that more youth are empowered to be employed or to create self-employment.

“Overall, this highly networked and results-driven conference got each stakeholder introspecting on their role and how they can improve their contributions to alleviating youth unemployment,” explains Mofokeng.

Currently R200 billion is spent each year by government and the private sector on training and skills development but the conversion rate to employment doesn’t even reach 10%.

Thus, educational initiatives need to result in more youth being either employed or empowered to self deploy. In the spirit of seeking inclusive solutions, young people shared their stories and were part of the discussions.

Mofokeng explains how delegates could share insights and best practices in “action labs” that focused on sectors that can be developed to enable job creation, namely:

  • Business process services
  • Installation, repair and maintenance

The need to unlock demand and the role technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions need to play, including the artisanal pathway was a focus in the discussions in this lab

  • Digital tech
  • Township enterprise and social economy

A primary takeaway from the event was that tackling the challenge of inclusive socio-economic growth will entail a diverse range of coalitions that come up with scalable solutions.

Insights from the Job Summit will inform the planning of youth labour market transitions, which will include:

  • Shaping interventions to create pathways at TVET colleges
  • Increasing local procurement
  • Advancing more projects in key economic sectors such as manufacturing, infrastructure development, business processes and services to provide more entry level jobs

The need to have a clear understanding of what drives youth unemployment – and the associated costs – was on the agenda, added Mofokeng

Factors that contribute to the constraints or support the participation and progression of young people can include the intangible cost of seeking employment, such as data and telephone costs, transport to an interview etc. Aspects of the Jobs Fund were discussed, which included the funding window, supply and demand, the success stories and the challenges. The recently launched  Youth Employment Service initiative was also on the agenda, with an overview of the progress made thus far provided.

In terms of digital skills, the plan to increase foreign direct investment over the next years could entail the burgeoning of good jobs in contact centres, data centres and knowledge, which means digital skills will become more in demand, CEO of Business Leadership SA explained in an article on Business Live. Youth need to be groomed as coders, data analysts, data scientists and software engineers.

In the JA South Africa Youth Enterprise Development Programme, partner Siyafunda provides ICT training and our pilot five-year project with the Standard Bank Tutuwa Community Trust includes coding workshops. We are currently looking at other potential pilots to provide digital skills as part of our programmes.


Finding innovative solutions to the problem of youth unemployment has become imperative and JA South Africa will continue to participate in these important events.


Congratulations to all the graduates at McAuley House

Sponsored by Delta, McAuley House students graduate from the Digital Enterprise Programme

Today, McAuley House Grade 10 and 11 students who participated in the JA South Africa Digital Enterprise Programme had their graduation ceremony. Thank you to Delta Airlines, a global sponsor of JA Worldwide, for sponsoring this programme locally.

One of the student company teams at McAuley House is Meraki, which won the South African national Company of the Year Competition. Four team members will represent South Africa at the Africa regional competition. In early December teams from 14 countries will meet in Ghana, which is the 2018 host country as well as the country where the JA Africa regional office is based.

The Meraki team are busy refining their presentations and their products in preparation for travelling to Ghana. They have also had to quickly apply for passports and visas to make sure they are ready to travel.

We wish them all the best with their preparations and we will keep you posted on their adventures in Ghana.