Mobile operators can now offer enhanced access to employment opportunities with the launch of a new SMS-based job application app. Job Xpress – the new Internet-free app from ForgetMeNot Africa – enables partnered mobile networks’ subscribers to send CVs and job applications attached to mobile emails from any mobile phone, regardless of the model or make of the handset.
Recent OECD figures revealed that 40 million African youths are currently unemployed, representing 60 per cent of Africa’s jobless. The difficulties, time constraints and the high cost involved in applying for jobs online in Internet cafes – the main source of Internet access for young Africans due to the lack of fixed telephone lines across the continent – further hamper the job application process.
ForgetMeNot Africa is launching the Job Xpress app across Africa. The first adopters are Glo Mobile, part of the Globacom network, Nigeria’s largest independent mobile phone network with 25 million subscribers.
Nigeria currently suffers from an unemployment rate of 23.9 per cent according to Nigeria’s National Bureau of Statistics, and youth unemployment stands at 41.6 per cent, according to a recent statement by Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
Jeremy George, ForgetMeNot Africa’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “The OECD’s research showed that a major concern for many young Africans is that jobs are only given to people with connections or relatives. Job Xpress helps to level the playing field by giving job applicants a direct method of application, and is a step towards tackling barriers to employment that currently affect young, bright and eager to work Africans.”
ForgetMeNot Africa currently provides access to internet-free Facebook, email and online chat apps to over 62 million people across east, west, southern and central Africa. These apps enable subscribers to send and receive emails and online chat messages, update their Facebook profiles, comment on and ‘like’ their friends’ Facebook statuses and send and receive Facebook Chat messages, all via SMS.
The Job Xpress app will sit alongside these services. It is also available to data plan users, saving them time and money as they no longer have to use fixed-line internet services to attach their CV to emails via data connections that often time out. Job Xpress works via the SMS channel, and so bypasses the ongoing need for fixed telephone line Internet access, PCs, expensive subscriptions, smartphones, Java downloads or data connections.
George said: “As the OECD recognises, Africa needs to move swiftly to make youth employment a priority, turning its human capital into economic opportunity. A common perception is that Africa needs aid when in fact what it really needs is a boost in business and jobs. Job Xpress is one way of the mobile industry contributing to the economies it operates in. It provides African mobile subscribers with an internet-free app that gives them a simpler, cheaper and faster way to kick-start their career by making job applications as easy as sending a text message.”
Samson Isa, Globacom’s Head of Valued Added Services, said: “ForgetMeNot Africa has already helped to bridge the digital divide in Nigeria by enabling people to easily keep in touch with their friends and family at home and all over the world with access to internet-free Facebook, email and online chat apps through the Glo Messenger service.
Now the addition of the Job Xpress app will help plug the socioeconomic gap, making job applications easier for every one of Glo Mobile’s subscribers regardless of the make and model of their mobile phone. The app vitally helps young people in their efforts to get their foot on the first rung of the career ladder and is a contribution to reducing the dreadful levels of unemployment amongst young Nigerian people.”