AlexWorks brings Rays of Hope to young people from Alexandra, Johannesburg

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Lebo, a young woman from Alexandra in Johannesburg, attended a 5-day work readiness and life skills training offered to her by her employer. Without previous opportunities to receive professional input, she enjoyed the training and left with some life goals in place, a budget to manage her monthly salary and a new spring in her step.

Imagine, if you will, hundreds of young people from Alexandra, who long to find and keep a job, and to change their lives and those of the people they love. The challenge is that these young people have never been shown how to write a CV; they don’t know how to budget to ensure that they have money to get to work in the week before pay-day; and they don’t know why getting to work on time is important.

Several initiatives exist and draw corporate participation – learnerships, internships and the YES programme. But how many of the youth that participate in those programmes leave with practical life skills that will help them move on successfully with the skills and experience that they have gained?

Enter AlexWorks (Pty) Ltd, a small Level 1 BEE company that trained Lebo as well as many young people from Alexandra, impacting the trainees and those that they support. Owned by non-profit Rays of Hope which has operated in Alex for 29 years, AlexWorks was started to generate a sustainable source of income to support its work in the areas of education, orphaned & vulnerable children and work readiness.

As part of the work readiness focus area, Rays of Hope aims to provide a bi-weekly youth support group, where concepts learnt on the training are reinforced, basic computer skills are taught, life lessons are shared by successful people and per-to-peer mentoring can take place. This project is envisaged to start after the COVID-19 pandemic.

If AlexWorks could train 50 youth a week providing them with the knowledge to appreciate who they are, set life goals and take control of their futures, then hearing feedback like the one below would be commonplace and the social impact significant.

The training would inspire young people to keep trying until they are given an opportunity, value the diversity that they encounter in a workplace instead of fighting against it, and think about employing others through new business opportunities instead of looking for jobs.

“I learned a lot from this training and I’m benefiting day in and day out as I’m able to plan my life. I didn’t know that I should know myself first before venturing into a business. I should know what I want and what I want to be. This training taught me how to manage my finances; now I know I should start with fixed costs ahead of discretionary costs.” – Swithun, 33 years old.

Should corporates use AlexWorks to train their own young employees or to sponsor training for Alex youth, the sky is the limit for this little business.

There are several benefits for companies who partner with AlexWorks:

  • An enterprise development (ED) opportunity
  • A supplier development (SuD) opportunity
  • Skills development points for training unemployed youth
  • Maximising the benefit to young people on learnerships, internships or YES placements

Should you wish to find out more about this initiative, please contact

Tracey Peppler
Rays of Hope
Business Relationship Specialist
082 856 9650