Basheerah Oliver, who works as a moderator at a training and skills centre in the city, said there should be skills facilities to give the youth some experience.
Skills centres are well-placed in the CBD because it is accessible for everyone, she said.
Basheerah grew up in Woodstock, but moved to Goodwood with her family, where she still lives.
Growing up, she wanted to be an event planner at some point, because she thought it would be “fun and glamorous”.
This piqued her interest in hospitality. After school, she pursued hospitality, and did her internship at the Cape Town International Convention Centre.
“After my internship, I became a trainer in hospitality – training people in waitering, bartending and reception among other things. When they worked, I also had to oversee the project and make sure everyone was doing the right thing.”
She worked as a trainer for about three years, and grew weary because of the long hours, shifts, and working over weekends.
“I worked up to 12-hour shifts at a time. It was hard shift work.”
But this was a blessing in disguise for Basheerah, as she found her passion in training, rather than hospitality. “I figured that I wanted to rather help people gain skills, so I decided to pursue training.”
She then started working at the skills and training centre, starting out as a facilitator, training the youth and unemployed in skills development, and working her way up to a moderator, where she now ensures that all training processes are in line with the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) regulations.
She believes that because the CBD is so central, this is where more training centres should be opened.
“There is a lot more foot traffic here, so more of our youth can access more opportunities. It is difficult for someone with no experience to get a job, as workplaces require experience – our youth need skills and experience.”
Basheerah has been working in the city centre for the majority of her career. She said while she had been in hospitality, she had never noticed the crime and grime in the city until she started working standard hours. She said one of the worst experiences is leaving the CBD after a long day at work.
“Also, the aggressive begging becomes too much. Sometimes the homeless people become abusive if you don’t give them anything.”
Basheerah also says while there is so many things in the city to explore, such as galleries, museums and eateries, she feared the crime.
“I am too scared to walk on my own. People get robbed, and pick-pocketed daily in the city. I would love to explore the city more often, but my safety is more important.”