Today, the Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz handed over graduation certificates to 31 young people from the Overberg Region who completed the Youth Skills Transfer (YST) Programme.
The YST programme is a partnership between the Department of Social Development, the Community Chest and Cape Nature, and was borne out of an extensive 7 month ministerial youth outreach initiative which covered all six regions last year.
The young participants come from the communities of Hermanus, Hawston, Grabouw, Caledon, Struisbaai, and Bredasdorp. They underwent training and workshops offered in 2 blocks of 5 days each. The workshops covered basic principles and practical skills in;
- project management,
- event management,
- financial management,
- business skills,
- resource mobilization,
- marketing and life-skills.
The YST aims to reach 390 youth and the programme will run to March 2016. Participants will also be given exposure to the events industry in their local areas, and will be provided with a toolkit for career and personal advancement.
In his address, Minister Fritz paid homage to one of the YST participants, Mr. Chistiaan Jafta, who used the skills he learnt and started his own small business in the town of Bredasdorp. Minister Fritz went on to say, “Never let anybody tell you can’t do or achieve something. Christiaan’s main business is installing air-conditioning and refurbishing used electronics, and he joined the YST to gain more skills and grow his business. So, you too can get up and change your life”.
In this regard our NGO partners, the Community Chest, will provide ongoing coaching and mentoring services to the participants by providing online and telephonic counseling and networking support. In addition, the youth will be linked to existing opportunities within government, the private sector and other civil agencies, and will be supported and guided when they want to start up their own enterprises.
The Department of Social Development will continue to play its part in delivering on the Provincial Youth Development Strategy, and expand services and opportunities to youth in the province. We can give young people opportunities to unlock their full potential if we continue to work, ‘Better Together’.