Cape Town is set for a tourism bonanza, and the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator is seizing the opportunity to drive youth employment within the city’s tourism sector. Teaming up with the V&A Waterfront, a major attraction, Harambee has successfully placed over 600 young individuals in businesses within the shopping and leisure complex over the past 18 months.
Brett Wilks, Project Lead at Harambee, underscores the sector’s inclusivity, stating that tourism acts as a rising tide for economic growth. The V&A Waterfront, drawing a diverse clientele, becomes a unique platform to offer employment to young people across various career paths, regardless of their prior experience. Key employers include renowned brands like Pick ‘n Pay, First Rand, H&M, and Life and Brand Portfolio.
The impact is evident at Time Out Market, a recent addition to the V&A, which employed twenty-three previously unemployed young people. The SA Youth digital platform played a pivotal role, connecting work-seekers with employers. Candidates underwent an intensive work readiness program, equipping them with essential soft skills for the hospitality industry.
Looking forward, Harambee aims to create 1,000 jobs in collaboration with 100 V&A tenants, with a broader vision to generate 50,000 opportunities over the next decade. Individual success stories, like Phumzile’s journey from studying hospitality to financial independence, underscore the transformative power of this initiative. As Cape Town positions itself for an influx of tourists, the Harambee and V&A partnership stands as a model for inclusive youth accessibility to economic opportunities in the thriving tourism sector.