Building a better future in Grabouw
Ten Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP)-National Youth Service programme participants are learning to build, and making a meaningful contribution to the community of Grabouw at the same time.
These trainees, from various towns in the Overberg region, are building a mini-training facility and conference room at the Groenberg Secondary School in the Pineview community as part of their work integrated learning. This 12-month programme started in February 2016. After they have completed their learnership next year, they will receive a certificate of competence in building. The product of their labour will benefit the school for years to come.
The EPWP aims to alleviate poverty by providing short-term work opportunities and training to selected participants. The programme is coordinated in the Western Cape by the Department of Transport and Public Works (DTPW).
Alice Njolwana, a participant who hails from Grabouw, says that she is delighted to be part of the programme. “There is a misperception that construction-related careers are only for men. Hopefully I can change that perception and show that women in the construction sector can be as successful as men,” she said.
Werner Theunissen’s interest in construction started when he found a temporary building job after school. “This programme has given me the opportunity to learn the finer points of bricklaying, plastering and tiling. In the construction sector, teamwork is the key to achieving success. We are a team even though we come from different areas, have different beliefs, and different cultural backgrounds.”
Nolan van Rhodie, DTPW Training Liaison Officer for the Overberg region, is extremely satisfied with the progress of the learners. “It is amazing to see how this programme has contributed to the holistic development of these individuals,” he said. “All of them are very eager to learn. The objective is to equip them with the skills to make them more employable or to start their own businesses.”
DTPW will continue to fund and support EPWP initiatives across Western Cape municipalities, tertiary institutions, and other potential sites for job creation. These initiatives help to give effect to Provincial Strategic Goal 1: “create opportunities for growth and jobs”.
Unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 35 with an interest in construction-related training are invited to contact the DTPW EPWP Skills Development Unit on 021 483 5329.