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

Project Highlight: W&R SETA Graduate Placement Programme

Funder: W & R SETA

Number of beneficiaries: 800

Duration: 2016/17

Lulaway has been allocated 8000 graduate stipends to place, manage and disburse payment for the year 2016/17, starting 1st May 2017.
Lulaway co-ordinated the recruitment, registration, screening and placement of 800 N6 graduates within Boston City Campus in their call centre and at campuses countrywide.

As part of this initiative, Lulaway hosted a groundbreaking Speed Interview event in order to facilitate employment of the learners.

Read more about this initiative here: Speed Interview trend offers hope for job seekers

Project Highlight: NYDA Jobs Programme

Project Beneficiaries: 11 441

Project duration: 2016/17, 2017/18

Geographic Location: National

As a key partner to the NYDA, Lulaway has realised the following objectives of the JOBS programme:

  • Developed the online JOBS portal where all job seekers CV’s are uploaded and accessed by NYDA JOBS officers;
  • Digitised existing paper CV’s collected over time by the various NYDA provincial branches;
  • Managed the incorporation of the JOBS portal into all NYDA branches countrywide.
  • Facilitated the placements of over 3000 unemployed youth (18 – 34) throughout the country between April 2016 – Feb 2017.

Project Highlight: Absa ReadytoWork

Client: Absa

Project Duration: 2017- 2018

Geographic location: All 9 provinces

Beneficiaries: 4000 job seekers screened, trained and registered, 2000 job seekers subsequently placed in relevant jobs

Absa ReadytoWork was launched as Absa’s CSI project aimed at preparing youths and unemployed for work as well as assisting them to secure job placements within the workplace where they can utilise the work-readiness skills they’ve acquired.

Lulaway has been selected by ABSA as its partner in the roll-out of facilitated ReadytoWork training throughout South Africa as well as facilitating the job placements for the trained candidates via Lulaway’s online recruitment platform.

Read more about this project by LulaLAB here.

Project Highlight: City of Cape Town – outcomes-based workforce development programme

Client: City of Cape Town

Geographic location: Cape Town

Targeted Beneficiaries: 30,000 job seekers screened and registered, 4000 job seekers placed in opportunities

Lulaway has been awarded the tender for the implementation of an integrated programme targeting those who have the greatest barriers to accessing and retaining employment in the City of Cape Town.

With a focus on youth and those living in high-density and traditionally marginalised areas, to the programme will co-ordinate actions in order to increase efficiencies and effectiveness of services for both employers and jobseekers.
At the core of the programme is the use of Lulaway’s E-recruitment portal that is linked to and Job Centers where job seekers will be able to access jobs within their communities, whilst the employers will use the simple digital interface to screen and track applicants, schedule interviews and select the candidates best suited for the job from the comfort of their office.

 

Project Highlight: Tshepo500K – development and maintenance of job seeker database

Client: Gauteng Provincial Government

Beneficiaries: 120 000 Gauteng residents registered and assessed, 5761 placed

Project duration: 2015-2016

The Gauteng Tshepo 500,000 is an employment creation and entrepreneurship development programme aimed at training, skilling and mentoring 500,000 young people through a set of projects aimed at empowering Youth, Women and people with disabilities.

In order to reach as many youths as possible whilst tracking the efficacy and ROI of the programme, Tshepo 500K utilized Lulaway in the development and maintenance of its ‘opportunity seeker database’.

The ‘Opportunity seeker database’ is an online portal, hosted on the Lulaway platform. Opportunity seekers can register on to the database through one of the many Lulaway opportunity centres throughout Gauteng.

Lulaway to establish 20 new Job Centres in Cape Town

Lulaway is to establish 20 new Job Centres in areas within the City of Cape Town where youth employment is most needed. The opening of these Job Centres is part of Lulaway’s strategic expansion of its national network of over 200 Job Centres, and the appointment of Lulaway by the City of Cape Town to implement a city-wide outcomes-based, high-impact three-year programme.

The programme aims at addressing some of the key barriers identified by the City that bar the unemployed residents from accessing job and training opportunities. The programme aims to screen, train and place unemployed residents into temporary and permanent training and employment opportunities.

The programme will focus on residents, particularly youth, located in the high-density, traditionally marginalized areas of the Cape Flats, Khayeltisha, Gugulethu and Langa.

The project comes as a beacon of hope to a city where the general unemployment currently sits at 25% and a youth unemployment rate of 36%.

The goals of the programme include the assessment of 30 000 unemployed residents, provision of training to 6000 relevant candidates in work-readiness skills and the subsequent placement of 4050 residents in various employment opportunities.
The integrated programme will achieve the required outcomes by strategically addressing the unique challenges facing the City and its unemployed residents.

“A key challenge we were tasked to solve is the lack of an integrated and co-ordinated employment services eco-system. There is a disconnect between job seekers and employers and the services and programmes they require. The impact of this absence is most evident areas with high populations of unemployed youth such as in Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Langa, Cape Flats, Atlantis, Samora Machel and its surrounds. As a result, discouraged youths often turn to crime and other destructive behaviours in order to support themselves and their families”, says Lulaway CEO Jake Willis.

“Another crucial challenge is lack of access to jobs and available opportunities. The City’s dispersed population means that certain areas are geographically excluded from the formal economy. This is a pattern we encounter across the country especially in the non-urban township areas.”

“Finally, the City experiences a lack of integration and communication between all relevant stakeholders. This leads to under-resourced employers, unspent funds by government and unemployed residents which results in overall socioeconomic despair”.

Project Highlight: 500 graduates to begin year-long learnership programme at Boston City Campus

500 graduates will begin a year-long funded learnership on July 1, 2017 at Boston City Campus (Boston), a leading tertiary college and business school. These learners will work in the Boston call center and receive experiential training in functions such as debt collection, lead generation and sales. The learners will receive a recognized qualification upon completion and will receive invaluable practical work experience.

This project is the result of a three-way synergy between the W&R Seta, Boston and Lulaway. Lulaway was responsible for securing the funding from the W & R Seta on behalf of Boston. Lulaway is also responsible for sourcing the candidates and all the administrative and payroll aspects of the program.

CEO of Boston, Ari Katz, believes that learnerships and internships offer real world work based experience and result in learners being more equipped in work place skills. “We aim for a high throughput rate; and foster an environment where learners can find employment post the placement. There are theoretical and experiential components to the program which will increase the long-term employability of these learners.”

Project Focus – Absa ReadytoWork

ReadytoWork is a pan Africa initiative aimed at equipping young people with the knowledge and skills needed to make the critical transition from education to work through digital and face-to-face learning journeys. The programme has two learning pathways; one is for young people seeking formal employment and the other is for young people interested in starting their own businesses. It is flexible and allows young people the flexibility of following a set learning path or to develop their skills on a specific topic of choice.

The curriculum is comprised of the following modules:
• Work Skills
• People Skills
• Money Skills
• Entrepreneurial Skills

The combination of modules or topics is dependent on the young person’s choice of learning journey or topic of interest. Upon completion of the ReadytoWork programme, young people will have the opportunity to apply for work experience opportunities.

Absa has, as of 1 June 2017, contracted with Lulaway to provide ReadytoWork training for 4000 young people nationally and to place at least 2000 of these young people nationally too. So far, we are well on our way to reaching our targets and empowering young people through the ReadytoWork programme that has complemented our existing Work Readiness Programme. Since inception in June 2017, we have trained approximately 400 young people in Gauteng and Mpumulanga, of which at least 260 have confirmed placements in these two provinces.

It is our goal to exceed our targets in the year ahead as we partner with Absa and other stakeholders in the fight against unemployment that is not only crippling our economy, but also each and every young person and his/her family members and community affected by it.

This is a project of the LulaLAB division. LulaLAB focuses on promoting sustainable job creation. Research shows that the majority of workseekers and entry-level employees are poorly equipped to transition permanently into the workforce. A lack of basic workplace etiquette, communications skills and intrapersonal skills result in poor retention rates and limited prospects of long term growth. LulaLAB provides youth with the skills and support to succeed in the workplace. Interventions include work-readiness training, medical subsidies, interest-free loans and other innovative programs focused on enabling long-term transition into the workplace.