iThuba – helping job seekers shine

Western Cape Premier Alan Winde together with Lavonne Wittmann, Past Skål International World President 2019 - receiving the 2022 Skål International Karl Twiggs Award at The Cullinan Hotel in Cape Town

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Helping job-seekers shine in the Cape

In a developing country where there is rapid urbanisation, many talented people who enter the workforce are overlooked by employers because they do not know how to present themselves effectively in a formal job interview.

In South Africa the unemployment rate among youth under 25, including those who have given up seeking employment, is a shocking 67 %.

The cruelest twist for these people is that they leave school full of optimism.

Very often without having parents employed in the formal sector, these youngsters are left to their own devices when applying for positions.

A Skal member in Cape Town who has had over 40 years of experience in interviewing candidates on behalf of corporate clients has made it her company’s mission to address the problem.

For the last six years, Lee Botti has rallied the travel and freight industries around her to help over 6000 school leavers shine in their first job interview.

This year Skal in Cape Town significantly contributed to the ongoing operation.

Said Lee: “The iThuba Project was started in 2012 as our company felt there was a great need to assist school leavers from disadvantaged communities to prepare them for the difficult job market they will face when they leave school.

“We developed a 3 hour interactive training program which covers where to look for a job, how to respond to an advertisement, how to draw up a winning Curriculum Vitae, how to conduct oneself at an interview, grooming, how to respond to questions one could be asked, and the value of job shadowing and temp work. We also teach them how to partner with your employer and excel your career and most importantly that each student should grow themselves to become the best in whatever they do.

“We train the Grade 12 and Grade 11 students from the townships 2 to 4 times a month and bus them into the Waterfront to show them the opportunities that exist for them to get part time work in their school holidays in the retail outlets, restaurants and hotels.

“A workshop very close to our hearts, we have been assisted by Travel News Weekly who prints all the booklets that are given to the students and SKAL Cape Town has kindly donated funds for some buses this year.

“Our company has been established for 41 years and we have offices in Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban. We provide staff for the travel and shipping industries. It is a family business and we are all passionate about iThuba, knowing as we do that our clients contact us to find winners for their companies and we can recognise these winners by the attitude they display….this is what we share with the children.

“I have been a long standing member of SKAL in Johannesburg and Cape Town and my daughter Kim is a member in Pretoria and Jill is in Durban. We all assist with these workshops and our staff are passionate about giving back to the community,” she said.



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