High youth unemployment is one of the greatest challenges facing South Africa, and Supa Quick, a subsidiary of Bridgestone is helping young people access jobs. The company supports the Government’s Yes4Youth programme, which provides internship opportunities to give graduates the opportunity to gain the vital work experience that potential employers look for.
“But,” says Promise Nomvula, “the real benefit of the Yes4Youth programme is only felt when one moves to the next step – Permanent employment.”
A graduate of the University of Johannesburg and currently studying for a postgraduate qualification in property at Wits, Promise joined Supa Quick as a Property Development Graduate in April 2021, and later had her contract extended. She is now working as a business support administrator in a permanent capacity.
“When I joined, I was fresh from university and had no experience of the business world,” she says. “Since then, I’ve learned such a lot and grown in confidence.” General “soft” skills she had to sharpen up on included communication, being a team player and working . She also had to learn technical skills related to her role.
“I was fortunate to have a manager who’s passionate about developing other people and she took me under her wing,” she adds.
Supa Quick’s induction process was comprehensive and helped give Promise a good understanding of the Supa Quick business. A highlight was a visit to the Bridgestone factory in Brits to see first-hand how tyres are actually made. This is the kind of in-depth knowledge that makes it possible for her to excel at her current job, which involves overseeing the effective flow of business processes for the various Supa Quick franchises.
Promise’s first love and career objective is to work in property and ultimately to run her own business, but she is grateful for this opportunity to acquire important business skills along the way that will stand her in good stead for the rest of her life.
“Opportunities don’t come easily, and if you are granted one, make the best of it. I deeply encourage all Yes4Youth graduates to use any opportunity wisely. Make sure you grow, and develop the right attitude—that’s what will land you the job,” she says. “The decisions you make now will influence your future. Work hard today and live like a queen later—it’s worth it.”
Adeshni Sewbaran Supa Quick’s Business Development Manager agrees, saying that while the company is determined to play its part in providing opportunities for South African youth, it is up to individuals to seize the opportunities that come their way. “Giving somebody a job is a big commitment on the part of the company, so it’s up to the candidate to demonstrate that he or she is of the right calibre and is willing to take responsibility for their careers,” she says. “It’s up to us to provide the opportunity but, as always in life, it’s the individual who has to make something of it. Promise is a great example of a young person who knows where she wants to go. That’s the attitude that will help young people overcome the challenges and build a good career.”