According to the partnership, the first step was accurately connecting the selected graduates with the right agencies.

"Sivuka Consulting worked with the agencies' various human resources teams to ensure that the graduates fit their specific needs and culture," says Wanita Berry, Wavemaker's head of human resources. "Misaligning the two often leads to avoidable dropouts and we wanted to give our graduates every chance of success."

Berry says that the interview process was rigorous as agencies looked for analytical, creative and curious learners who were passionate about learning and growing.

"Our aim is to develop media specialists who have what it takes to understand our work and contribute effectively to what we offer our clients," says Berry. "We want to ensure that they are work-ready and to cultivate a hardworking, ready-to-take-on-any-challenge and keen-to-learn attitude."

One of the graduates Carla Pretorius says that the first few months of the programme have been deeply enriching. "The structure of the programme has made the transition into the working environment much easier and less intimidating," she says.

While the programme was run in-person during the first few months of the year, it was affected by COVID-19 and was forced to move online. "Fortunately, teaching our graduates to be agile is a critical part of the process," Berry says. "When COVID-19 hit, we simply adapted and continued remotely."

Graduate Navir Papa says, "I have learnt so many new skills and I am so grateful to the members of the Wavemaker team who have shared their experiences and knowledge with me. It was so exciting to be part of that process; helping on real client work has been a blessing to me."

Another graduate, Ayanda Masemola, has been working with Wavemaker's digital team for part of the course of the programme. "Working with this team kept me on my toes and taught me how important it is to pay attention to detail," she says. "And because digital is always changing, there's always room for learning and growth."

"Working with Wavemaker is always such an invigorating experience," says Ashalia Maharajh, the founder and director of Sivuka Consulting. "It was amazing to witness the level of investment and open-mindedness with which the team took on this project; their dedication to youth development is so obvious. Companies that are committed to the growth of young minds is what this country needs to help alleviate unemployment and effect change."

Looking ahead, the aim is to evolve the programme's content so that it is also suitable for more senior levels of staff. "We all need to continue learning, no matter where we’re at in our career," Berry says.

"Providing the mechanisms and resources for this learning to take place is how we guarantee the ongoing success and relevance of our team members, our agencies and our industry," concludes Berry.

For interviews, individuals are encouraged to contact Lihle Jiyane on [email protected]

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