Job fair connects community and careers

Over 1 300 people attended the job fair on Friday May 25 at Lentegeur civic centre.

More than 1 300 people attended a job fair held at Lentegeur civic centre on Friday May 25.

It was hosted by Lulaway, a job creation engine which helps job seekers find internship and employment opportunities. The Career Fair in Lentegeur is one of many the company have held since the beginning of the year in areas within the City hardest hit by unemployment. Lulaway has also established job centres in these areas where job seekers can register if they cannot attend Career Fairs.

This initiative is part of a three-year outcomes-based workforce development programme held in collaboration with the City of Cape Town which aims to improve access to job and training opportunities and will impact the lives of 30,000 residents.

Those who attended were given applications to fill out in a bid to assess what their abilities were and to help them draw up a curriculum vitae (CV).

“Not all jobs posted on the internet are valid; some sites will take personal information and use and abuse that,” said Sippy Mpofu, the training and operations manager at Lulaway.

Once people have filled out the form and have been assessed, they will then be put on the company’s database of job seekers where they will be accessible to Lulaway’s team of in-house recruiters and employers. The company is offering free recruitment services to employers in the City order to better facilitate job placements.

The people who attended the job fair were supposed to do a job readiness programme, but this was not possible because of the huge turnout, and of the 1 300 who attended, only 1 123 applicants were assisted and put on the Lulaway database on Friday.

A number of unemployed Mitchell’s Plain residents who attended the job fair, spoke to the Plainsman on the day.

Magrieta Louw, 63, from Montrose Park said: “This is impressive; we should do more call-outs like this. This (shows) how desperate people are for jobs.”

Gavin Adonis, 53, from Eastridge, said he arrived at the job fair not knowing what to expect. “I don’t know what is going on as I just arrived here this morning in a hurry because I need a job. There are too many people here who are unemployed. I am unemployed and have been retrenched for 32 years. I have a licence, public drivers permit (PDP) and a Grade 10 certificate.

“I don’t have Grade 12, so it is difficult for me to find a job. Maybe these people can help me today. I’ve got a family to feed and I’m a hard-working man. I need to equip myself in every way to work.”

Shane Richards, 30, from Beacon Valley, told the Plainsman that it was difficult to find a job, whether you had a National Senior Certificate or a university qualification. “Matric opportunities are still little, even people qualified at university level cannot find jobs. Lulaway is here, maybe they can help us, maybe something will happen. Everyone says you need experience but no one is willing to give you that experience in a job. Unemployed young people don’t get much opportunities these days.”

Michelle Bunding, 43, from Eastridge, said she had heard about the job fair through social media. “I am very shocked at the amount of people that showed up today. It really made me realise (that) unemployment is a reality for most people of Mitchell’s Plain.”

Rowena Jonkers, 18, from Eastridge, was excited about the prospect of finding work: “I feel excited. If we get a learnership then we can start working and do something with our lives. I am looking forward to this programme.”

Michelle Williams, 34, from Lentegeur said: “I found out through reading the Plainsman. I really need a job, I am tired of sitting at home. I just want to do something.”

Lulaway will be heading back to Mitchell’s Plain soon but a date has not been confirmed yet, said Ms Mpofu. For more information, job seekers should visit Lulaway’s Facebook page, www.facebook.com/Lulaway for updates about events and opportunities.