Connecting the UNconnected – Tenielle Ortiz
The role of Connect is to connect youth with opportunities in the form of jobs, internships, scholarships and learnerships. Birthed out of the need for a support structure to assist young people post the completion of courses offered by RLabs and identifying an urgent need to upskill young people in preparing them for the workforce in a practical, personal and relevant way based on the specific individual’s need and skill level. Since its inception in June 2015, there has been a demand for young people who have completed High School and NEETS alike to acquire skills most entry-level jobs demand in requirements of employment which left many people feeling despondent in their attempts to secure employment. How do we help you might ask?
Thanks to the partnerships built through the years by Rlabs as an organisation, we have been fortunate enough to be equipped with tools provided by Accenture to take to our communities in the form of IE ( Improvement of Employability) and S2S Skills Academy.The IE ( Improvement of Employability) tool simulates various real-life scenarios which in turn rates you on the following Five Competencies :
Rules & Assignments
Giving the person options of online courses based on the results of their competencies.
S2S Skills Academy
Offers online and offline courses which assist with job readiness whether it be acquiring skills in compiling CV’s to Behaviour in the workplace.
As a team, we have taken these tools to colleges and schools across the greater Cape Town area as well as utilising these platforms at our Youth Cafes by incorporating it into their current training programmes. Having youth use these platforms, with the support of RLabs Youth enables them to utilise the services offered by Connect.
As previously mentioned, we offer a personalised service to young people based on their personality and skills set. Building relationships with them and getting to know what makes them tick, what they are passionate about and using this information when seeking opportunities best suited to them. Journeying alongside them as motivation and identifying their possible strengths and weaknesses and finding ways to improve their future employability by using the tools provided by the current platforms ( IE and S2S) and suggesting courses offered by RLabs to help them get on track. We also offer support with the initial job readiness eg compiling cvs.
Recently The Connect Team have completed facilitating a Leadership program with Northlink College Parow. This was an excellent opportunity to engage with students on a grassroots level, discussing social issues affecting them as young South Africans with their participation in discussions, which allowed them to express their views on the content. Some of the topics addressed were Self Image, Self Worth, How social media affects our social identity, Sexuality and Gender-Based issues. The response and feedback from both the students and their lecturers were positive. As a team will endeavour to do more of this type of programmes with other Colleges and Schools in the near future.
In conclusion, RLabs Connect is here to CONNECT young people with a future but ultimately it is up to the individual to take that first step to improve their lives.
“One may not always know his purpose until his only option is to monopolize in what he truly excels at. He grows weary of hearing the answer ‘no’ time and time again, so he turns to and cultivates, monopolizes in his one talent which others cannot possibly subdue. Then, beyond the crowds of criticism and rejection, the right people recognize his talent – among them, he finds his stage.”
― Criss Jami, Killosophy