There is more to a person than their CV

 

One can go just about anywhere in Joburg and find someone looking for work. We see men and women on the side of the road, daily, and while some motorists choose to ignore these people, it does not change the facts. I am pretty sure that if you were to talk to the majority of these desperate people, they would tell you they did not choose the life they have. No one grows up dreaming that they will beg on the side of the road or live off government grants.

When the Mall of Africa opened, thousands of people arrived to see the new shops, but many also arrived carrying CVs in the hope that they might find new job opportunities. Many more arrived to take advantage of the opening stores’ discounts on basic food necessities or small little luxuries they might not otherwise afford.

This newsroom recently posted a journalist vacancy advert online. Within days, the applications started pouring in. Flipping through the numerous CVs, one could really get a sense of how many people are seeking employment. The luxury of picking which company you work for has become a fantasy for most – simply having a job and knowing you are going to get paid at the end of the month is what most people try to achieve.

When speaking to applicants and hearing their stories, one simply wants to employ them – not because they would be competent at their job, but because no one should be unemployed.

After 20 years of democracy, I can quite confidently say that lives have been changed. That everyone is better off and there are more opportunities – but is it enough?

No, it will never be enough … the problem is too big for government to handle by itself. Private entities need to come to the party and help upskill those who need it, but private entities also simply need to give people more chances.

Next time you are going through applications for a vacancy your company might have, don’t just look at the qualifications and the experience – look at the potential. There are many bright people with so much to offer and they simply have not been given the chance to shine. With unemployment rates so high in this country, we can all do our part to reduce this statistic.

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