How to upskill yourself using free online learning tools and become more employable

Searching for a job takes its toll – especially if you’ve been looking for months or years and are still unemployed. Many lose motivation and along with it, their drive to be productive.

However, one thing you can do to occupy yourself and make yourself more employable at the same time is to learn new skills by taking part in free online courses.

I can learn online for free? Really?

Yes, really! There are many online courses and learning portals – some of which are run by top universities – and yes, they are FREE!

So, while being unemployed is frustrating, the upside is that you have the opportunity to study and learn new skills at your own pace. This is a luxury you won’t have once you get a job as you might be tired after a day’s work and from commuting.

Not only will the new skills look good on your CV, employers will see that you are ambitious and have a desire to grow and are not afraid of challenges. Students who engage in online or distance learning programmes demonstrate time management skills, personal accountability and discipline which are seen favourably by employers and will help you stand out from the sea of other job seekers.

You can study topics related to your career choice, niche or critical skills such as programming or general skills such as business communication, writing, Microsoft Excel, etc.

What about data costs?

If data costs are a concern, visit your local library as many national libraries now offer free internet access for local community members. Certain youth development centres also allow to access the internet at no cost for the purposes of studying and job-searching.

Alternatively, you can hop onto the free Wi-Fi offered at selected malls, restaurants and retail stores using your smartphone.

How do I get started?

Here are just a few of the top free online study programmes that are available :

  1. MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, are free online courses available for anyone to enrol. MOOCs provide an affordable and flexible way to learn new skills, advance your career and delivers quality educational experiences at scale. Universities that offer MOOCs include the University of Cape Town, UNISA, Harvard University through Harvardx Courses, and Yale University’s Open Yale Courses, among many others. To find a list of MOOCs and MOOC providers, go to


  1. MOOV (Massive Open Online Varsity) is a project of Vulindlel’eJozi aimed at creating access to smart education to eliminate factors such as distance and costs associated with obtaining an education. MOOV is a local forum which harnesses the global phenomenon of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). MOOV offers students the opportunity to pursue this type of learning in a campus environment. MOOV students follow structured learning paths and are provided with the support to succeed.


  1. Codecademy is a website dedicated specifically to teaching coding. This is a great site for anyone interested in learning or improving their IT programming skills. While other coding sites follow an example/practice session workflow, Codecademy includes a live practice window. This means you can practice coding while still viewing the lesson material and see the results of your code live on the screen! Codecademy also features a centralised dashboard that allows you to monitor your progress, plus it organises lessons into complete modules. Website:
  1. is a website that partners with universities and organizations around the world to make learning accessible online. This brings a wide variety of topics and perspectives to one searchable database. As a result, the website has a wide range of in-depth courses. Coursera is very useful if you’re looking to study many different topics, or are interested in courses from different schools and groups. Website:


  1. Udemy’s free courses are similar in concept to Coursera’s but allows users to build custom courses from lessons. Working with many top professors and schools, the site mixes the customisable platform of other sites with a heavy emphasis on top quality content. This is site mixes free and paid content meaning that not all the courses are free. Website:


  1. Digital Skills for Africa is a Google initiative in conjunction with various training partners, which aims to train young people in Africa in digital skills. Digital Skills for Africa aims to empower both students and entrepreneurs with skills such as running an online business, social media, coding and interview skills. Website:


  1. The Khan Academy is a non-profit educational organisation that provides free video tutorials and interactive exercises. The Academy’s declared mission is “changing education for the better by providing a free world-class education to anyone anywhere.” Khan Academy is a great place to brush up on your maths, science and language skills and so much more. Website: Many of their videos are available on their YouTube channel:


  1. Alison is a free educational site that provides certification in some areas. Alison offers courses mainly in business, technology, and health, but also includes language learning courses. Website:


  1. Academic Earth believes that everyone deserves access to a world-class education. They offer a comprehensive collection of free online college courses from global leading universities, with dozens of disciplines and courses to choose from. Website:

Knowledge – and the opportunities that it brings – are right at your fingertips. Take advantage of these opportunities to upskill yourself and become more employable. Once you’ve completed courses and learned new skills, remember to update your CV and profile at a Lulaway Job Centre.

Happy learning!

Plainsman: Opening doors for the youth

Organisers of the Youth Unemployment Prevention Project’s (YUPP’s) Post School Opportunities Seminar did not expect this large turn-out, as they had booked the Dulcie September (Athlone) civic centre, which can accommodate 800 people.

Institutions represented at the seminar, which Mr Dollie refers to as “opportunity providers”, included the University of the Western Cape (UWC), Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT), False Bay College, College of Cape Town, University of South Africa (UNISA), National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), the Department of Labour, the Western Cape Department of Social Development, Lulaway, among others.

Read the full article: Opening doors for the youth



Collaborating with Uber to accelerate economic opportunities

The obvious synergy between recruitment agency, Lulaway, and ride hailing service, Uber, is set to accelerate economic opportunities in the country.

The two organisations have joined forces to create South Africa’s maiden recruitment and training centre in Cape Town’s Century City, which is dedicated to registering and training Uber’s driver-partner applicants.

“With South Africa’s unemployment rate at 26.7 percent and some experts projecting it will reach 27 percent later in the year, we need to come up with smart solutions to provide opportunities for jobless South Africans. Initiatives such as the Uber-Lulaway partnership, where two innovative companies use cutting-edge technology to drive socio-economic growth, is one way of addressing the challenge,” says Executive Chairman of Lulaway, Andile Mkhosana.

Moving away from the convention of potential drivers having to register on Uber’s website or app to become driver-partners, Lulaway handles the registration process and recruitment of the drivers. This process simplifies linking the driver and vehicle owners or Uber partners. It also provides the driver-partners with world-class work-readiness training, part of Lulaway’s mandate to implement an outcomes-based, high-impact workforce development programme over the next three years in collaboration with the City of Cape Town.

“We have streamlined the process for drivers to apply to become Uber driver-partners. Our applicant system is a sophisticated and tech-driven way to register and track applicants in the entry-level sector.”

“At the centre, our staff assist all applicants to register via our online secure portal and upload the necessary documentation. They complete basic online Lulaway assessments and then go through work-readiness training to help them be successful once they start work. The application process is now centralised and standardised, meaning the highest levels of data accuracy and efficiency are applied,” explains Mkhosana.

He adds that there is a great demand from existing Uber driver-partners, and Lulaway will be linking the vehicle owners and existing Uber driver-partners.

“Our database has over 300,000 pre-screened candidates listed. This means finding drivers is easy for us and we can recruit drivers when necessary. We provide the missing link between the driver and the partner and accelerate linking economic opportunities and small business seekers. Our positioning means that finding a driver doesn’t have to be a laborious, time-consuming endeavour. We provide a detailed CV with all the documentation so a partner can decide if the driver is right for them.”

This training centre, although currently only based in Cape Town, aims to help grow the country’s existing 12 000 driver-partners.

“Partnerships between government, the private sector and youth employment organisations such as Lulaway can drive job creation for South Africans and build a shared vision in which unemployment is truly eradicated,” says Mkhosana.

Alon Lits, General Manager for Uber Sub-Saharan Africa explains, “We are excited about this partnership as drivers are the core of our business, and everyone deserves a fair chance to participate in our economy, and through partnerships like these we know it will be made possible.”

Uber does not employ the partner-drivers, but through using the Uber App, it connects people who provide transportation services with others who need rides. The drivers who use the Uber app are totally free to choose if, when and where they accept rider requests. They are not obligated to work a required number of hours or shifts.

“Uber plays a pivotal role in job creation in a country where unemployment is a national crisis, and this synergy is a perfect example of what is possible through collaborations of this kind.  Combining the forces of Uber and Lulaway, we hope to accelerate the impact we are making. We see this as a pilot project, and the model can be taken nationally once its benefits have been quantified,” says Mkhosana.


Lulaway team members at the Uber centre

City Press: Paid internships are the key to solving SA’s youth crisis

South Africa’s youth have a lot to celebrate following the recent state of the nation address and budget speech.

In his maiden state of the nation address, President Cyril Ramaphosa repeatedly emphasised that job creation would be at the centre of the 2018 national agenda. Former finance minister Malusi Gigaba confirmed that the government would be contributing R57 billion to fund free higher education.

Read the full article on the City Press’ website: Paid internships are the key to solving SA’s youth crisis

IT ONLINE: Paid internships key to job creation