Tarka Development Group hosted its first Job-Market Day at its offices on 03 September 2016 in what was a day of lots and lots of learning and unlearning (and learning some more).
The event falls under TDG‘s Skills Development programme and focused on CV-writing with job-hunting tips, e-mail training (register, how to send, receive, attach, etc.), ESSA registration, registration on a job-hunting site and then finally, job-hunting. The beneficiaries of this programme are unemployed job-seekers in Tarkastad. The purpose of the programme is not to give jobs to people, but to empower them with the ability to be able to market themselves and look for jobs in the right places in a world where a lot is becoming increasingly digitised, leaving those without access in the cold. David Fourie of TDG described it as “a day for 10 job-seekers to receive support and training in their job-hunting endeavours”. And that it did.
For this introduction of the Job-Market programme, the beneficiaries were matriculants only, from a pre-chosen group which was notified beforehand. This was due to limited space and equipment. TDG is planning on broadening its capacity and opening the programme to larger groups.
David presented an informal lecture on the days’ subjects which saw the participants detailing their interests, strengths and personalities. The manual for the lessons was borrowed from one of TDG‘s donors and friends The Hope Factory, with additional assistance from YoungPeople@Work. The lecture was more of a discussion than a passive classroom setup, which eased the participants in being more comfortable talking about themselves and even noting their friends’ strengths and hidden skills. With this, people were led to see possible job opportunities their work experience and interests can open up for them. This was one of the key lessons from the event, as job-seekers tend to think qualifications limit people to specific fields when it is not necessarily so. Although qualifications are extremely important, employers sometimes tend to focus on experience and specific skills more than the paper attached to them.
The most important lesson of the day, for me specifically, was that as a job-seeker one has to be deliberate, to-the-point and research requirements for specific jobs rather than sending generic CVs and hoping that they stick somewhere. The facilitators, David Fourie and Siba Skomolo, both noted that employers read multiple CVs and know when someone is prepared for a job or when they are just trying their luck.
Overall the Job-Market day was a success with the participants leaving with new or updated CVs, ESSA registrations and applications on online job-hunting sites! The participants have also been given vouchers to come to the TDG office and use the computers and internet to work on their CVs, profiles or check the status of their applications.
TDG will be hosting its next Job-Market Day on 8 October 2016 (open to all).