Linkup is a Supported Youth Internship model that develops the necessary skills and work experience for school going youth who want to prepare for  employment but need extra support to do so.

Barriers to youth employment.

At the end of 2017 it was recorded that 41.6% of South African youth between the ages 18-24 are currently NEETS (Not in employment, education or training).

2/3 of South African youth will drop out of school and only 13% of black South African youth will be able to apply to higher education.

Resulting in a huge gap between education and employment. Linkup aims to bridge that gap and help pave the way to the world of work.


The unequal and poor quality of education

Education mismatch to future employment – research findings indicate that the key difficulty facing young work seekers is that South African employers favour skilled employees.

Lack of basic work experience – which provides an important proof of ability to employers

Weak employment social networks and references

A pervasive lack of self-worth and self efficacy

Barriers to youth employment in SA.

Linkup Supported Youth Internships aim to bridge the gap between education and employment to help pave the way to the world of work .

What makes us different from other internships is that we provide the holistic development of both practical and soft skills delivered with the support from a trusted provider at a local employer focusing on: 1) start at a school going age 2) build self-efficacy 3) focus on soft skills and practical skills needed by employers.


What are
supported internships?

Structured study programme based at an employer and supported by a school /community centre equipping school going youth with the skills they need for work, through learning in the workplace. All psychosocial support, administration and organisation of the students is provided by the school/community centre.

*Model adapted British Department for Education - Supported Internship model of 2017


Key activities




"I learnt about work hours and the many different roles and jobs at Woolworths. I learnt how to work a cashier system and how to pack shelves. I spoke to the lady who started as a shelf packer and is now a manager."

—  Gershwin, 17 years old


Our Impact so far

  •  7 youth participated in the pilot and want to continue with the programme

  •  All youth completed the internship and have a skills certificates from the business

  •  3 businesses were involved and want to continue to be involved

  •  We are growing the amount of students to 25 in July

  •  Including businesses Kaap Agri and Ontap

  •  Our youth are more engaged in programmes and speak openly about the world of work


Contact us

We are looking for more business partners who believe in what we are doing.

We  are also currently looking for funding to maintain and grow the project and make a greater impact on youth in our community.  

Please email us and we will get back to you shortly.


© 2018 Butterfly House |   MA Service Design Royal College of Art

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