Absa, in partnership with the Diepsloot Mountain Bike Academy (DMA), will provide internships to 14 young riders as part of this year’s Absa Cape Epic, a gruelling eight day mountain-bike stage race which commences on 13 March 2016.
This year’s internship programme is aligned to the bank’s ReadytoWork initiative. Launched in 2015, ReadytoWork is a pan African initiative aimed at helping young people build the skills they need to make the critical transition from education into the world of work. It provides young people with access to a digital and face-to-face blended learning journey that helps develop their work, people, money and entrepreneurial skills, better equipping them to find a job or start their own business.
Absa has been a proud supporter of the DMA since 2014. Besides providing a safe platform for youngsters from disadvantaged communities to learn about the sport of cycling, the DMA also endeavours to foster strong educational support for its members.
The 2016 Absa Cape Epic will, therefore, not only provide the 14 interns with valuable hands-on work experience during the race, but will also empower these youngsters with the requisite training and support to enhance their employment or self-employment prospects.
Last year, 9 young DMA riders were afforded the opportunity to work at the Absa Cape Epic. Among them was Otty Makwatlo, who worked as a bike mechanic. He will be returning to the Absa Cape Epic as an intern this year.
“After my involvement in the Absa Cape Epic last year with the other DMA interns, many kids are now looking at us as examples of what they can achieve. I believe that being chosen and the experience that comes with that, will make me a better role model for them in the future. This is an opportunity that means a lot to me and I can’t wait to learn even more in 2016,” said Otty.
“We are well aware that the high level of youth unemployment is a significant challenge in our country and continent. It is extremely tough for young people to find and retain meaningful jobs without proper guidance, support and the relevant experience. Hopefully, our internship programme will, in some small way, enable some of the interns to realise their work-related ambitions,” said Matshepo Majola, General Manager Group Marketing, Barclays Africa Group Limited.