On the 26th of June five GOLD Grads (GOLD alumni) walked into the Training Room Online offices in Cape Town ready to meet and engage with senior management from the company Training Room Online. The purpose of the workshop is to build bridges between two worlds: ‘corporate’ and ‘youth’, and paint an insightful picture of the frustrations experienced by job seekers and employers. This workshop creates an authentic space where young people, who play a positive role in their communities, share their views and hear the perspectives of the corporates.
The sense of authenticity and commitment to really engage and share experiences, opinions and thoughts in the room, enabled the corporates to see past the statistics of youth unemployment and grapple with the underlying issues, which were evoked by the tough questions that both the youth and the corporates were encouraged to answer candidly. One of the corporates said that as result of the opinions and real-life examples given during the workshop, she will always “keep in mind that it is tough overall”. It was noted that the problem of youth unemployment requires everyone involved in addressing it to think of creative ways to tackle it. One of the other corporates said that she will be “more resolved to make a difference by creating opportunities for youth in our workplace”.
The honest answers the corporates gave to the questions asked and opinions expressed, made one of the GOLD Grads realize that the corporates “are also human”; thus, they are not aloof towards the struggles involved in youth unemployment. In addition to realizing the commonalities between the corporates and themselves, the GOLD Grads learned about the kind of skills necessary for a young person aspiring to work in the ICT sector. One of the GOLD Grads said “now I have clear direction”.
In essence, the workshop symbolically helped the two groups cross over and view the issue of youth unemployment from different perspectives.