Changes in the nature of work as well as the use of technology have had an implication on how young people are prepared for the workplace. This has meant that young people who are joining the workplace tend to be ill prepared and not ready to work which has had an effect on their productivity as well as career progression.

More often than not, employers often look for employees who are well rounded, agile, proactive, collaborative among other soft skills. However, in as much as these skills are important, we find that these skills are often not taught in school. It was a response to this that Absa launched Ready to Work, a program that effectively equips the youth with the relevant skills in a bid to prepare them for the job market.

Launched in 2015, the program has had a positive impact on the lives of the various youth who have had an opportunity to go through it. One such individual is Faith Waweru, a Collections Officer at the Credit Department of Absa Bank.


Faith joined the Ready to Work program while she was still in university pursuing a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Interestingly, Faith who comes from a humble background only managed to go through university courtesy of the Absa Sponsorship Program.

It was through the scholarship program that she got to hear about Ready to Work and she immediately became interested. At the time, she was looking to start a poultry business that could provide her with upkeep money as well as support her Mum. When she joined the program, she was keen on learning how to set up and sustain the business as well as saving and budgeting. The she reckoned that skills learned would not only help her in sustaining the business but also expanding it.

True to the word, the skills that she learned in the program for example money skills are what enabled her manage the finances in her business. With these skills in mind, she was able to buy the chicks as well as feeds with the meagre resources that she had at the time. She was able to grow the business to a point where it was not only able to sustain itself but was also able to provide a surplus which she used for her upkeep.

When Faith finally graduated in 2021, she was not able to get a suitable job and ended up working as a security guard to survive. Working as a security guard was not easy as she had to endure comments by people who wondered why she was doing the job yet she was a graduate. These comments took a toll on her self-esteem but she held onto the hope that she was going to get a better job.

After about a year working as a guard, she received an email asking Ready to Work alumni to apply for internship positions at Absa Bank. She promptly applied and was called for an interview which she passed with flying colors. Thereafter was posted to the Credit department where she worked for about a year before the contract lapsed.

While working as an intern, Faith must have really made an impression that she ultimately landed her current job at the bank. She credits the various skills that she learned during the Ready to Work program specifically people skills which have helped her to successfully navigate the corporate landscape.

Faith has nothing but praise for the Ready to Work program because it has enabled her to get to where she is with the sky being the limit. She indicated that it is a valuable resource that can not only equip one with skills that they need while looking for a job but excelling in it as well.