Readying young graduates for the workplace
Zimbabwe’s universities, like others in Africa, are churning out thousands of graduates each year. Of the few that manage to secure employment, employers often complain that they lack the necessary skills and are not work-ready.
Rinos Mautsa, a 2016 Tutu Fellow from Zimbabwe is the Founder and CEO of Tech 24, the first call centre and software company in Zimbabwe. For his Community Project for the Archbishop Tutu Leadership Programme, he founded the Campus Community Foundation (CCF). To address the issue of graduates not being prepared for the world of work, the Foundation developed a mentorship programme. The Campus Community Mentorship Programme is an intense 8-month mentorship platform to link students in tertiary institutions with corporates and practising professionals with vast industry experience with the aim of helping to ease the challenges students face and to develop them into well-rounded and polished future leaders. It also aims to provide a structured and life-changing experience that enables the students to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and the practicalities of work through accelerated practical learning.
The Foundation has thus far achieved the following: (i) Created a rich platform for knowledge, skills transfer, and networking opportunities for tertiary students in specific disciplines (ii) provided students with practical insights and hand-on experience into how the working world really operates in order to adapt and reach their full potential in the Zimbabwean employment marketplace (iii) nurtured the students’ leadership potential, so they may, in turn, transform their communities and (iv) provided a platform for the mentors to empower young leaders to carry out high impact assignments and to thus better equip them to face the challenges of the working world.
Today, Rinos, through the Campus Community Foundation, has worked with a total of 1230 students – from over 7000 students who have applied, over the years. 28 mentees started their own formal businesses. The Foundation’s mentoring initiative has partnered with over 30 corporates and corporate leaders and has been endorsed by the Government of Zimbabwe through the Ministry of Youth. In 2017, the programme was profiled by the Ministry of Youth as one of the country’s most impactful youth support initiatives. Partnerships have been established with the Junior Chamber International of Zimbabwe, the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers chapter in Zimbabwe and the International Coaching and Mentoring Foundation. The Foundation has employed staff to manage the programme.