Over the next three years, Harambee commits to scaling up its proven model by providing: (1) job placements/work experiences to 50,000 young people; (2) demand-driven work-seeker support to 250,000 young people; and (3) investment in insights and research to transform the labor market.
Job Placements/Work Experiences: This will involve direct or enabled facilitation to formal job opportunities in a range of sectors including financial services, retail, and hospitality as well as access to informal work experiences that may be community-based. While the model is responsive to demand-side dynamics, the intent is for 30,000 job opportunities to be at least one-year in length and 20,000 work experiences to be at least three-months. This is a scale up of Harambees model, which over the past four years has built sophisticated channels to source both young people in community and through a range of other channels, as well as employers who have historically partnered with Harambee and those introduced through referrals from existing partners and through industry forums.
Work Seeker Support: Harambee will assist 250,000 youth to acquire demand-driven work-seeker support to improve their ability to independently find work in the economy, whether through opportunities with large employers, small enterprises, community programs, or entrepreneurial ventures. This will involve: (1) receiving a sense of direction from the assessment conducted, motivation from the network effect of being with other young people and possibility in a previously unguided and lonely job-search. Harambees level of scale makes traditional mentorship models difficult to operationalize, so new solutions will be tested, including peer networks and technology forums to connect young people. (2) Receiving detailed assessment reports outlining their behavioral strengths in relation to the world of work. (3) Receiving feedback from Harambees team including certified psychologists that match to available entry level jobs. (4) Guidance on how to compile a CV and apply for a job, including interview preparation and documentation requirements. (5) Linking and referral to a range of learning and work opportunities, aligned to individual profile for success and the needs of the economy, which is informed by Harambees ongoing demand side work as well as research conducted for Harambee by McKinsey& Co. (6) Digital citizenship, including an email address which is delivered by Harambee as a module of the work seeker support package.
Research: Harambee has established a Knowledge & Insights team that drives independent research as well as collaborations with other research institutions, universities, think tanks, and youth program partners. The effort of this ongoing strategic function will contribute to more systemic change in the labor market by using research partnerships and data to: (1) positively influence employer attitudes and behaviors around providing work opportunities to young, first time work entrants. This has already been piloted with Harambees existing employer partners. (2) Build the case for employers in growth sectors to show that a ready supply of labor can give them confidence in investment decisions to expand their operations and generate more economic activity. Harambee has identified sectors like business process outsourcing and industrial/manufacturing as sectors for exploration. (3) Document the impact of Harambee in placing young people at risk of long-term unemployment who have come into the formal economy and have increased the levels of income (and ability to generate income) in families and communities of young people who secure employment; and (4) Serve as a catalyst that can contribute to effective program design and policy development for youth employment programs and initiatives
The Harambee model has been proven with a strong track record of success that positions it well to scale further in transforming the labor market and supporting another 300,000 young people to access economic opportunities, matching systems, work-seeker services, and vocational advocacy.
Harambee sets annual and three-year targets and detailed action plans on each metric of the value chain. As its operations gear up for even more significant scale, Harambee anticipates that all activities listed in this commitment happen on a daily basis including the outreach to candidates, the provision of work seeker support services, and the engagement with employers to secure new opportunities.
A weekly performance dashboard is used to track progress for Harambees teams and Harambee reports on consolidated activities on a quarterly basis to external partners.
For purposes of meeting its commitments, this will involve tracking three quarterly targets to ensure success. These are targets that have been part of Harambees existing model for the past four years and have well defined systems, processes and mechanisms for delivery:
On a quarterly basis, Harambee will provide 4,166 young people with direct or enabled links to job opportunities and work experiences; provide 20,800 young people with demand-driven work seeker support; and create knowledge products and insights to impact the labor market.
Harambee has developed large-scale operations that support market efficiencies for both employers and work seekers. The scale of its operations have also provided the labor market with high volume processing capabilities that allow them to access a much larger talent pool to find the right match. Harambee has prioritized well-developed systems to support data driven matching, linking and learning, and ensure that it can measure whether its interventions are fit-for-purpose, aligned to market need, scalable, and cost-effective.
Increasing the number of young Africans who can compete in the economy is both urgent and achievable. It requires forcefully addressing the mismatch between market demand and supply, and growing the pool of work-ready youth. Research demonstrates the availability of jobs for young people, yet, a large supply of high-potential young people are locked out of the economy due to employability gaps and access barriers. Repairing this mismatch, and growing the pool of work-ready youth, is key to unlocking the opportunity for youth jobs.
South Africa has one of the highest rates of structural unemployment in the world and half the adult population is unemployed or underemployed. Yet every year, thousands of jobs go unfilled. Employers say they cannot find enough candidates who are ready for work. Candidates may not be ready for work because they score poorly on standard numeracy and English tests, they lack specific technical skills, or because they have never had an opportunity to hone the soft skills for professional success, such as punctuality, teamwork, self-confidence, poise, future-mindedness, self-motivation, and grit.
But South Africans from the most marginalized backgrounds rarely even get the chance to come into contact with potential employers. This is for multiple reasons: the social and geographic legacy of apartheid, the poor quality of their schooling, transport costs to jobs can be prohibitively high, and they must overcome the prejudice that they lack soft skills required for professional roles. They thus stand outside the networks of opportunity that others with similar capabilities rely on to secure their first formal sector job, the necessary first step toward a lifetime of upward mobility. They apply for jobs door-to-door, the most inefficient and expensive way possible. When they never hear back, they eventually give up and become a part of the permanently discouraged, unemployed underclass.
Harambee exists to address this demand-supply mismatch by reaching candidates where existing networks do not reach, assessing their cognitive and functional competencies, matching them with the sectors and employers where they are most likely to succeed, and exposing them to highly-tailored, cost-effective work readiness bridging programs that directly address the risks identified by employers.
Furthermore, Harambee has built market insights to develop demand-driven work seeker support that allows all its candidates to take ownership of their journey to employment. Harambees establishment of a knowledge and insights capability within the organization has allowed it be evidence-based and to support rapid innovation across its systems and processes.
Harambee has scaled significantly in its first three years to support nearly 100,000 young people in their quest for employment. It has placed 10,000 of these young people in jobs with 100 of South Africas top companies (from large corporates to small enterprises) spanning the retail, hospitality, tourism, financial services, insurance, business process outsourcing, professional business services, manufacturing, and technical and industrial sectors.