Work and Skills Programme: Hope for Disillusioned Young People
Today, Western Cape Minister of Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Alan Winde, hosted a thank you ceremony for learners and host companies involved in the Work and Skills Programme.
A promotional video to be used to leverage additional funding for the programme was launched at the event. The video is available on request.
The Work and Skills Programme establishes learning and work placement opportunities for unemployed youth in the Western Cape, and allows them to improve their future employment prospects. Under the programme, the Western Cape Department of Economic Development and Tourism provides post-matric learners who have not found employment with a stipend of R1 200 over a period of six months. They are placed at companies where at-work skills training is provided. Companies are encouraged to top up the stipend.
Minister Winde said, "There are 850 000 unfilled posts in South Africa and 3.2 million youth and 650 000 graduates sitting without jobs. The Work and Skills programme aims to match this skills demand with supply. To date, we have been able to ensure that over 3 000 learners have had the chance to gain some work experience. We want to make the programme even bigger and ensure that even more young people have a chance to get a foot in the door. To this end, the Western Cape Government will take the lead in advocating for the Work and Skills Programme to be rolled out nationally and in municipalities. We will share lessons with stakeholders to strengthen similar initiatives. We will also be getting buy-in from stakeholders to employ learners and committing companies to enrolling learners for the 2013/2014 roll-out. The Western Cape SETA Cluster will be drawn to create exit strategies for the programme. Local and international funders will be approached to provide additional funding for the programme."
Minister Winde added: "We have already approached the Development Bank of South Africa (DBSA) for funds. For every additional R10 million we get, we can put an additional 600 learners through the programme. One can only imagine how many young people we can give the opportunity to gain work experience should we get our share of the R5 billion set aside by National Treasury for the Youth Wage Subsidy. We will continue to push for the release of the R5 billion and push for our share."
The event was attended by over 100 learners and host companies.
- For more information on this programme, view the Work and Skills Programme page.
Phumzile Van Damme
Spokesperson for Minister Winde
Cell: 082 378 2235