When a kind stranger took a photograph of Momelezi Sifumba standing at a busy roadside with a cardboard sign stating: ‘Help Me to Find a Job’ and posted it on LinkedIn, little did the unemployed graduate know it would catch the attention of none other than Graham Abrahams, Senior Vice President, Electrification at ABB, who would change the course of the young man’s life.
Having graduated with a BTech in Electrical Engineering (Power Systems) in 2018, Momelezi says he was unable to find employment in his chosen field, even after knocking on the doors of various companies. “Despite the constant rejection, I still had a hunger for success, knowing all I needed was an opportunity to prove myself,” says Momelezi. It was this determination and self-belief that resulted in the fateful decision to stand by the roadside with a placard.
Graham comments: “Youth development is everyone’s responsibility; business has a responsibility to help develop our youth. Momelezi has overcome many challenges to obtain his education, and now with ABB we will ensure he has the opportunity to complete the practical experience to qualify fully as an engineer. I look forward to seeing how he embraces this opportunity and will follow his development and career closely.”
Momelezi is employed as a graduate apprentice in the Electrification Business Area, working under Graham himself. The training provided is hands-on and will see Momelezi rotate through different departments and activities to ensure his practical experience is as well-rounded as possible. With a bright future suddenly in front of him, Momelezi says there is nothing to stop him from aspiring to assume a team leader or management role. One day he will also be in the position to be a mentor to other deserving and unemployed youth.
Communications and Marketing Manager Busisiwe Molefe explains that ABB has heeded President Cyril Ramaphosa’s call for the private sector to assist in combating the scourge of youth unemployment. “Momelezi’s inspiring story also speaks to the spirit of Nelson Mandela Day, where we are called upon to reflect as a society on how best to effect the change we want to see around us,” says Busisiwe.
Refilwe Mocumi, HR Services Specialist: Learning & Development and ELCM, reveals that from 2020 to date, 60 graduates have been permanently employed at ABB. In addition, 80% of the candidates from the company’s training programmes have found gainful employment. “Our aim as an engineering company is to afford all youth the opportunity to enter our industry, including disabled people.” says Refilwe.
All the best to Momelezi Sifumba in his new role! As ABB, we will support him in reaching his career goals.