Lungela by Excel@Uni: Career Readiness Programme.

Career development is essential, especially within the context of South Africa’s high rate of youth unemployment. According to Stats SA, the youth unemployment rate, measuring jobseekers between 15 and 24 years old, hit a new record high of 64.4% in the second quarter of 2021. This skyrocketing unemployment rate intertwines with many other social issues in our communities, such as poverty and crime.

Invariably, there are several deep-rooted and systemic causes of the high youth unemployment rate. However, according to PISA, the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment, one of the hindrances is that schools in most countries are not doing enough to help youth navigate their school-to-work transitions. This undermines the ability for youth to better compete for available employment, implying that even youth who are fortunate enough to achieve post-secondary qualifications, are simply not “ready for work”, or poorly prepared for operating in the workplace. Hence, almost every medium to large enterprise has implemented some internal graduate/internship/onboarding programme or skills development programme. In some cases, companies have more than one of the previously mentioned skills programmes.

Regardless of the qualification requirements, employers/companies generally seek a common set of qualitative skills from job candidates. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE), an international professional association that is a leading source of information on the employment of the college educated, the most important skills are as follows:

  1. Critical Thinking/Problem Solving,
  2. Oral/Written Communications,
  3. Teamwork/Collaboration,
  4. Digital Technology,
  5. Leadership,
  6. Professionalism/Work Ethic,
  7. Career Management, and
  8. Global/Intercultural Fluency


To cater the NACE framework to our student’s unique context, we’ve added 2 additional competencies that sponsors also felt was needed:

  1. Financial Literacy
  2. Health & Mental Resilience Training


Excel@Uni’s Lungela Career Readiness programme aims to bridge the work-readiness gap with a systematic approach aligned with the NACE framework. The programme is facilitated through a combination of online webinars, video resources and assessments to be viewed at the students’ convenience. The idea is to prepare students for the work environment so that they are equipped before they apply for employment positions. This gives students a head start in their careers and a better chance of employability, within all sectors of employment.

If you are a bursary manager and would like to learn more about how our Lungela Career Readiness offering can add value to your bursary students, feel free to contact us here Also feel free to review a sample of our training content on YouTube ( )

We look forward to partnering with you in our joint mission to solve South Africa’s endemic skills development and unemployment problem.