CallingtheCape, together with local government, has committed itself to reducing unemployment in the Western Cape through the Career Assessment Development and Training (CADET) Programme.
CADET is part of an ongoing effort by CallingtheCape to provide working opportunities in the call centre industry for the provinces unemployed. It has been in existence since 2004 and has seen around 400 users pass through its doors.
The programme takes learners through a four step process, starting with training and ending with employment. The first part of the course, Life at Work teaches learners about essential life and basic workplace behavioural skills. This is followed by a 10-day foundational learning programme focusing on the fundamentals of numeracy and literacy.
The four-week Level 3 programme educates students on business administration, debt collection and contact centre operation, while the fourth and final phase sees them enter into a six month work placement. Companies currently involved with CADET are: Virgin Active, Truworths, Woolworths Financial Services, 118 Contact, City of Cape Town, ADT Security and the MDB Group.
“The calibre of learners on the CADET Programme is extremely high, and as a result we have decided to make all seven of those who joined us permanent staff members,” says MDB Group’s Tarryn Clarke-McLeod, “These initiatives are vital to the province and country as a whole, there is a large skills gap that exists within our country and learnerships such as these play an important role in closing that.”
Former student Masixole Mpambani has made rapid progress since graduating from the CADET programme in 2006. “I was placed at Woolworths three years ago and since then, I been promoted to team leader. I can honestly say I would not have got where I am today without the CallingtheCape programme and would definitely recommend it to anyone struggling to find work.”
The world is in the middle of the biggest economic crisis since the great depression, says Zungu. The International Labour Organisation predicts that as many as 51-million jobs worldwide will be lost this year.
“Unemployment is rife in our country. It is our responsibility in the BPO sector to do everything possible to alleviate this by amongst other things equipping the unemployed youth with the kind of skills that will help bridge the gap between school and the world of work. The willingness of businesses to provide in-service opportunities for the youth is vital if we hope to achieve this goal” adds Zungu.