Vodacom looks to connect 1m youth to gig economy

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Mobile operator Vodacom is looking to connect a million unemployed South African youth to the gig economy.

In a statement, the operator says South Africa has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in the world.

In a bid to give youth a fighting chance in this tough economy, Vodacom has launched Get-a-Gig through NXT LVL with a three-year vision of connecting one million youth to jobs or gigs by 2024.

The latest employment data, released by Statistics South Africa, highlights the dire state of the country’s economy, says Vodacom.

It notes the data shows unemployment rose to 35.3% from 34.9% in the first quarter of 2022 compared to the last quarter of 2021.

This is by far the highest level since the beginning of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008, it says, adding the youth unemployment rate remains at a staggering 65.5%.

As part of Vodacom’s sustained commitment to empower South African youth, Vodacom’s Get-A-Gig matches a job-seeker (youth) with job opportunities or gig opportunities within Vodacom and its partners, while allowing them to grow, learn and earn, says the operator.

According to Vodacom, Get-A-Gig was launched as an extension of its recently revamped NXT LVL (pronounced next level), a platform aimed to address the challenges faced by young people, offering them opportunities to connect, learn and earn, as well as giving them access to the right tools to help them reach their potential.

The company explains that NXT LVL also empowers young people to manoeuvre through their lives into adulthood, particularly at a time when they are seeking jobs, and unemployment is at a record high.

“Our vision is to make sure we leave no one behind, especially young people who form a critical part of the country’s future. The launch of Get-A-Gig is yet another way that we at Vodacom strive to fight the rising youth unemployment rate,” says Jorge Mendes, chief officer of consumer business at Vodacom.

“Our purpose is centred on building a digital society with techco-solutions and an education ecosystem that transforms lives for a better tomorrow.

“As we innovate, and bring new propositions to the market, we are mindful of the challenges that are faced by consumers at large. The revamp of the NXT LVL platform and the launch of Get A Gig are some of the initiatives we introduced, aiming to make a meaningful difference in the lives of young South Africans

“As we empower and help our youth connect to jobs, even if it is one job at a time, we believe it is a step towards curbing the scourge of unemployment in our country. By them [youth] earning a living, connected by the use of our technology, we believe they can go further,” adds Mendes.

Get-A-Gig is available free of charge to all NXT LVL customers via the My Vodacom App and VodaPay.

New NXT LVL customers need to download the My Vodacom or VodaPay App, register for NXT LVL, click on the Get A Gig tile to register and create a profile, search and apply for available Gigs in their area.

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