Fri. Apr 12th, 2024

As Christmas approaches, Smile FM’s Ryan O’Connor has achieved remarkable success in his mission to provide employment opportunities for Capetonians during the festive season. The Breakfast Show host, in collaboration with the City of Cape Town and Leelyn Management, a company dedicated to developing leaders and assisting the unemployed in their job search, aimed to secure jobs for at least 10,000 households in the region.

O’Connor’s ambitious plan, initiated in September, has far exceeded expectations, resulting in the employment of more than 12,900 individuals just before Christmas. The collaboration between Smile FM, the City of Cape Town, and Leelyn Management has proven instrumental in reaching and surpassing their initial goal.

In an interview with IOL on Friday, O’Connor expressed his delight in achieving this significant milestone. He emphasized the importance of taking tangible action to address unemployment issues, stating, “I think of those households and what this will mean, as many have not seen this since the pandemic and many, prior to the pandemic, have not had a breadwinner.”

The success of the initiative was attributed to the partnership of all involved parties, and O’Connor is already contemplating ways to further increase the impact in 2024. He stated, “I am already thinking of next year. We need to go bigger and better.”

Alderman James Vos, the City of Cape Town’s mayoral committee member for economic growth, credited the city’s Jobs Connect program for playing a pivotal role in achieving this remarkable outcome. Vos highlighted the positive change and impact created by the workforce development program, which exceeded its target of 1,000 job opportunities.

The Jobs Connect program was launched to streamline the job-seeking process, providing an easy-to-use, accessible platform connecting work-seekers with employers. Vos explained that the digital format allows users to access opportunities via mobile phone or desktop, with data-free access for MTN and Vodacom users. The platform, which has seen 97,982 sign-ups and assessments, aims to reduce the stress and costs associated with job hunting.

Vos concluded, “Our mission is to shorten the unemployment queue, and with this programme, we are doing just that.” The success of the initiative demonstrates the positive impact achievable through collaborative efforts in addressing unemployment challenges.

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