Chengetai Nyagweta is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Restless Development Zimbabwe. Part of her role is to support the team working on the Youth Employability Programme and here she profiles three young women making surprising moves into different sectors.
“You need experience to secure the job, but can’t get the job without experience”- it’s a vicious
cycle young people are all too familiar with. In Zimbabwe, where one in eight young people between the ages of 15-24 are unemployed, every single position has hundreds of applications – and many of those jobs require years of experience the new graduate has not yet had time to obtain.
Only 10% of 30,000 university graduates each year are able to secure formal employment in the country. So many young people are stuck at home, sending out endless CVs looking for something to do, or taking any job they can to make ends meet. Through our Youth Employability Programme we have been working with young people to help them secure internships, so that they can gain the experience they need to obtain full time employment.
Meet just three of the young women we’ve supported here:
Aisha, first female Mechanic
Aisha had been on a two year job hunt looking for work in Automotive Engineering. She had graduated in 2012 with a certificate in Auto Electrics and was just about to give up on her job search, until she found out about the work readiness training being conducted by Restless Development through its Youth Employability Programme.
“The life-skills sessions gave me the confidence to continue to seek out opportunities in Automotive Engineering despite the challenges I had faced before”
Aisha secured a job as Motor Mechanics intern after completing the training. She was the first female mechanic the organisation had ever hired.
Nyasha, blind Social Worker raising awareness
Nyasha is from Dzivarasekwa, a high density suburb in Zimbabwe and has been visually impaired since she was nine months old. This made for a difficult childhood as other children would often make fun of her inability to see, making her feel insecure about herself. Through family support she learnt to read and write using braille and graduated with an Honours degree in Social Work.
“This achievement was my own testimony to prove that disability does not mean inability”
Like many young people she was worried about getting a job after graduating, with her visual impairment adding to the challenge of facing the country’s high unemployment rate. She heard about Restless’ Passport to Success (PTS) Training from a friend and decided to take part.
“I really appreciate this awesome opportunity I received through Restless Development. From the PTS sessions, I managed to make new friends who frequently check on me to hear if I am well. I also learned a lot from the topics ‘Dealing Effectively with Criticism’ and ‘Being a Good Team Player’. The sessions really hit home and I became clear on areas I needed to improve on, as I was one who did not take criticism well and hence, it affected my contributions to a team.”
Nyasha is now working as a Social Work Intern, raising community awareness of children’s rights through advocacy, capacity building and quality assurance of child oriented programmes.
Engineering is a male dominated field and Moreblessing was becoming very frustrated with the job hunt despite having all the necessary qualifications. Feeling demotivated, she joined the work readiness training programme where she developed her capacity to problem solve, work in a team, manage her time well, manage individuals well and cope with different work situations.
After taking part in the training she was able to land an internship as a Renewable Energy Engineering Intern, installing solar panel systems on rooftops in her community.
“The programme played a vital role in my acquiring full time employment at Zim Energy. I did not even know how to install solar systems, but I gained that knowledge when I was an intern at Global Solar. I learnt more and my career is growing. Now I am a full time Renewable Energy Engineer and I have people I manage”