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Careerpool and Kitsoworks Tackle Graduate Unemployment

Lebogang Motubudi
Account Manager, Careerpool

Careerpool is Botswana’s first commercially driven online job board. The website advertises vacancies available in companies as well as providing companies with a database of job seeker CV’s that they can search through and discover talent.

The platform was born out of a local need for job vacancy information to flow freely and be accessible to all through the use of information communication technology (ICT).

What makes this platform so crucial to our labour market is that it offers an electronic recruitment (e-recruitment) solution to human resource practitioners who seek to gain greater exposure for their vacancy posting function when recruiting for talent.

The further and wider that these individuals are able to “cast their net” so-to-speak, serves their purpose of finding the best possible candidate for the job.

The more channels of information dissemination they have at their disposal the greater the candidate response will be and the greater the quality of talent they will be able to choose from.

Careerpool provides a central repository for all jobs in Botswana through the use of ICT by providing a real-time platform that broadcasts vacancy information to individuals through a multitude of internet enabled devices.

And therein lies the beauty of the system as now job seekers don’t need to search through multiple company websites or buy a multitude of publications looking for job vacancy information.

This information now becomes accessible to them on the central location, Furthermore when job seekers have registered to the site they can setup job alerts which means vacancy information relevant to them now comes to them via e-mail.

Making job vacancy advertising a lot more effective for HR departments recruiting and making the search a lot less cumbersome for job seekers. It is an e-recruitment tool that is long overdue in Botswana.

Now the website has gone a step further in the goal to truly revolutionize recruitment in Botswana. By tackling an issue that our country is currently grappling with, graduate unemployment.

This is an issue that cannot be ignored and needs a coming together of minds to come up with solutions to alleviate and even eradicate the high numbers that it currently exists in. To this end Careerpool has partnered with

Graduates in Botswana are caught between a rock and a hard place and neither are very good places to be. The typical Motswana student leaves Form 5 with a great desire to succeed.

They are filled with optimistic energy that cannot be matched by somebody who has been working in the job market for a number of years. To ensure they have successful and fulfilling careers they work incredibly hard with great drive and tenacity as they enter the “big world of tertiary education”.

The point of it all, graduates are told, is to obtain good grades that will enable you to secure a position with a choice company, but this isn’t the case in Botswana today. So where is it all going wrong?

There is a distinct gap between being a graduate and becoming an employee – it is critical to the growing economy of Botswana that this gap is closed. Companies need to realize that their HR needs of tomorrow will be met by the graduates of today.

 It is in their best interest to find new ways of making more roles accessible to the graduate pool and make job advertisements more accessible to this integral group.

There are companies that are making an effort to correct this disparity between employed and unemployed graduates but the limited flow of information about jobs and not having a central repository puts their efforts as well as Botswana and its graduates, at a great disadvantage.

Enter KitsoWorks a Youth Empowerment program setup through a strategic collaboration agreement with Microsoft Corporation and the Botswana Innovation Hub (BIH) through which a Microsoft Innovation Centre (MIC) has been setup within the BIH. KitsoWorks is a YouthSpark and 4Afrika initiative that provides youth with exclusive access, via internet and mobile phone, to courses to develop their professional skills and boost employment.

A platform with a job search function, youth mentoring as well as social and professional networking. The program is rolled out in conjunction with Ministries of Youth and Labour, donor organizations and lead NGOs.

The site boasts a full ecosystem to support workforce development across Botswana for job research and professional skill enhancement online, on the ground and via a mobile function.

It offers a fully inclusive experience which provides career planning resources for visitors to identify their career path and their training gap compared to organizational requirements.

It offers extensive training options for different skills customized to specific target groups and jobs, directing visitors to online and physical locations where they can identify the jobs available, and help them prepare their applications.

As we all know, part of the graduate problem is caused by the fact that not enough graduates are opening their own businesses. KitsoWorks also seeks to stoke the entrepreneurial fire that exists within its clients.

Within the portal, the entrepreneur section includes BYB, a Microsoft Citizenship program for micro and small entrepreneurs to help them promote skills training and create new businesses through cutting-edge tools. BYB is there to help them leverage productivity and technology tools to grow their own companies.

This wonderful initiative was implemented by the good people at the Department of National Internship Program and needs the support of all relevant stakeholders. The synergy that exists between Careerpool and KitsoWorks is undeniable.

The strategic partnership will increase the visibility and accessibility of both sites’ interwoven objectives and further boost the efficacy of the platforms. The digital era is upon us and this means partnerships like this will put us in good stead to solve the socio-economic problems of today and the future through the active use of cost effective ICT solutions available to the market.

To learn more about Careerpool and KitsoWorks simply go to their websites; and

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Pula smiles at COVID-19 vaccine

25th November 2020
COVID-19 vaccine

A squeaky and glittering metaphoric smile was the look reflected from the Pula against the greenback this week and money market researchers lean this on optimism following Monday’s announcement of another Covid-19 vaccine which is said to have boosted emerging market economies.

With other emerging market currencies, the Pula too reacted to optimism and fanfare on the new Covid-19 vaccine against the weakening US dollar which has been losing its shine since the uncertainty laden US elections.

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Choppies high on JSE rollercoaster volatility

25th November 2020

After bouncing back into the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) last week Friday, following a year of being in the freezer, the Choppies stock started this week with much fluidity.

Choppies was suspended in both the Botswana Stock Exchange and its secondary listing at the JSE for failure to publish financial results. Choppies suspension on Botswana Stock Exchange was lifted on 27 July 2020. On Friday last week, when suspension was being lifted, Choppies explained that this came into fruition “following extensive engagement with the JSE.”

Choppies stock, prior to suspension, hit a mammoth decline in value of more than 60 percent, especially in September 2018. Waking from a 24 month freezer, last week the Choppies share price was at R0.64 and the stock did not make any movement.

However, Monday was the day when Choppies stock moved vibrantly, albeit volatile. Choppies’ value was on a high volatile mood on Monday, reaching highs of 200 percent. At noon, the same Monday, the Choppies share had reached R1.05. Before taking an uphill movement, Choppies stock slightly slipped by 2 cents. But the Choppies share rode up high and by lunch time the stock had reached the day’s summit of R2.00 and that was at 13:30 when investors were buying the stock for lunch.

The same eventful Monday saw gloom on the faces of Choppies rivals, when Choppies gained by 220.31 percent around lunch time its rivals in the JSE Food & Drug Retailers sector were licking wounds. Spar lost 2.94 percent, Pick Pay fell by 2.43 percent, Shoprite 7.52 percent and Dis-Chem 1.98 percent. The only gainer was Clicks by a paltry 0.51 percent.

In an interview with BusinessPost, Choppies sponsors at the JSE PSG Capital Managing Director Johan Holtzhausen explained that the retailer’s stock was in high demand after a long suspension. He said when a company list or a suspension is lifted the market needs to find itself on the pricing of the share.

“Initially when the suspension was lifted there were more buyers than sellers. As far as we could see this created a shortage of shares so to speak and resulted in the price at which the shares traded going to R1.20 and eventually R2.05 before finding its level around R0.80 sent from a JSE perspective.

This is marked dynamics and reflect that there are investors that are positive about the stock in the long run. This is a snapshot over a short period and one requires a longer period to draw further conclusions,” said Holtzhausen in an interview talking about the Choppies stock.

On Monday this week where the Choppies value grew by 200 percent, the stock took a turn looking down, closing the day at R0.87 from a high of R2.00. According to local stockbroker Motswedi Securities on Monday while there was no movement by Choppies in the local stock exchange as the retailer appeared on the board as 141,000 shares traded at P0.60 each.

However in Choppies’ secondary listing the stock price rallied to over 200 percent during intraday trading on Monday before losing steam and declining to around R0.87 share.

Before press yesterday Choppies opened the market with the stock starting the day at R0.80 then went flat for few hours before taking a slide downward, dropping 5 cents in 30 minutes. Choppies then went flat at R0.75 for 50 minutes yesterday before going up at 10:20 am where it nearly recovered the open day price of 80 cents, but was shy of 1 cent. From 79 cents the price went flat until noon.

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Foschini-Jet merger, a class and rivalry conundrum dissection

25th November 2020

Competition and Consumer Authority (CCA) has revealed that in its assessment of the Jet take over by Foschini, there were considerations on possible market rivalry and a clash in targeted classes.

According to a merger decision notice seen by this publication this week, high considerations were made to ensure that Foschini’s takeover of Jet is not anyhow an elimination of rivalry or competition or if the two entities; the targeted and the acquiring enterprise serves the same class of customers or offer the same products, to elude the anti-trust issues or a stretch of monopoly.

The two entities are South African retailers whose services stretched to Botswana shores.  Last month local anti-trust body, CCA, received an acquisition proposal from South African clothing retailer, Foschini, stating their intentions to take-over Jet.

South African government’s Business Rescue Practitioners earlier this year after finding out that Jet’s mother company, Edcon, is falling apart, made a decision that Foschini can buy Jet for R480 million. This means that Foschini will add Jet to its portfolio of 30 retail brands that trade in clothing, footwear, jewellery, sportswear, homeware, cell phones, and technology products from value to upper market segments throughout more than 4085 outlets in 32 countries on five continents.

However the main headache for the CCA decision which was released this week, is distinguishing the targeted and the acquiring entity businesses and services.

When doing a ‘Competitive Analysis and Public Interest’ assessment, CCA is said to have discovered that Foschini is classified as a “standard retailer” which targets middle-to-upper income consumers and it competes with stores such as; Truworths and Woolworths. The targeted entity, Jet, is on the lower league when compared to its acquirer, it serves customers of lower classes and is regarded as a discount/value retailer targeting lower income consumers or a mass market. This makes Jet to be in direct competition with Ackermans, Pepkor, Cash Bazaar and Mr Price.

“Therefore, a narrower view of the market is that Foschini through its stores trading in Botswana is not a close competitor to Jet. Additionally, there exist other major rivals who will continue to exercise competitive constraints on the merged enterprise post-merger,” concluded CCA this month.

The anti-trust body continued to explain that in terms of the Acquisition of a Dominant Position, the analysis shows that the acquisition of the target business by Foschini Botswana will result in an insignificant combined market share in the relevant market.

This made CCA reach to a conclusion that there is no case of an acquisition of a dominant position in the market under consideration or any other market on the account of the proposed transaction.

What supports the merger according to CCA is that it is in compliance with regards to ‘Public Interest Considerations’ because the findings of the assessment revealed that the transaction is as a result of the need for a Business Rescue by the target enterprise. This is so because in the event that the proposed transaction fails, it will translate into the loss of the employment positions at the target business.

“On that note the Authority (CCA) found it necessary to ensure that the proposed merger does not result in any retrenchments or redundancies. In light of this, the assessment revealed the critical need to protect the employees of the merged entity from possible merger specific retrenchments/ redundancies,” said CCA.

Before making a determination that the recently proposed transaction is not likely to result in the prevention or substantial lessening of competition or endanger the continuity of the services offered in the relevant market, CCA said it then moved into a concern for public interest which is a protection enshrined in the Competition Act of 2018.

CCA’s concern was mostly loss of livelihood or employment by 126 Batswana workers at Jet stores, stating that possible retrenchments or redundancies may arise as a result of implementation of the proposed merger.

Much to the desire of trade union or labour movements in Botswana and across Southern Africa where the Jet stores are stemmed-who also raised concerns about the retail’s workers job security- CCA subjects Foschini to keep the target entity 126 workers.

“There shall be no merger specific retrenchments or redundancies that may affect the employees of the merged enterprises. For clarity, merger specific retrenchments or redundancies do not include (the list is not exhaustive): i. voluntary retrenchment and/or voluntary separation arrangements; ii. Voluntary early retirement packages; iii. Unreasonable refusals to be redeployed; iv. Resignations or retirements in the ordinary course of business; v. retrenchments lawfully effected for operational requirements unrelated to the Merger; and vi. Terminations in the ordinary course of business, including but not limited to, dismissals as a result of misconduct or poor performance,” said CCA.

CCA also orders that Foschini informs it about all the details of 126 Jet employees within thirty (30) days of the merger approval date. CCA should also know information of when Foschini is implementing the merger, within 30 days of the approval date.

Other conditions include Foschini sharing a copy of the conditions of approval to all employees of the Jet or their respective representatives within ten (10) days of the approval date.

“Should vacancies arise in the target, the merged enterprise shall consider previous employment at one of the non-transferring Jet stores to be a positive factor to be taken into account in the consideration of offering potential employment,” said CCA.

According to CCA, in cases of any job losses, for the Authority to assess whether the retrenchments or redundancies are merger specific, at least three months before (to the extent that this deadline can be practically achieved and in terms of the prevailing and legally required employment practices) any retrenchments or redundancies are to take place, inform the Authority of:  i. The intended retrenchments; ii. The reasons for the retrenchments; iii. The number and categories of employees affected; iv. The expected date of the retrenchments.

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