25 April 2013

South Africa: Efforts to Address Youth Unemployment Welcomed

Pretoria — Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel has welcomed the Gauteng Provincial Government's decision to absorb 300 unemployed graduates from FET colleges.

In a statement on Tuesday, 23 April 2013, Patel said the Gauteng Province has set the tone on the seriousness of government commitment toward the undertakings made in the Youth Employment Accord signed last week at the Hector Peterson Memorial Square in Soweto.

He said government plans were afoot to engage tens of thousands of interns to expose unemployed young graduates to work opportunities that increase their employability.

In a statement at the weekend the provincial government announced measures to get more young people off the streets and into the workplace.

Following a meeting with the Department of Higher Education and Training, Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane and her Executive Council resolved to absorb an additional 300 Further Education and Training (FET) unemployed graduates this financial year.

The premier of the most populous province in the country said the provincial government would ensure that the 300 graduates were placed within various departments for experiential learning in areas of tourism, engineering, Information and Communication Technology (ICT), design, food and beverages, amongst others.

In the last financial year alone, the provincial government provided 7 986 internship and learnership opportunities to unemployed young people to gain work experience.

Mokonyane said if not addressed youth unemployment could have a negative impact on the economy.

In its battle against youth joblessness, the province has established the provincial Youth Employment Strategy; which is centred on four pillars namely: the placement of matric graduates, township hubs - "Qoqa Abolova", entrepreneurship development and skills development.

The Youth Employment Accord was launched by deputy president, Kgalema Motlanthe on Thursday.

The Accord is a partnership between government and its social partners to create five million new jobs by 2020. The parties to the accord recognize that youth unemployment is a major national challenge and there is a need to expand opportunities for greater employment and empowerment of youth in the economy

Patel said he is looking forward to further pronouncements by the other eight provinces of South Africa with a series of announcements by various social partners are expected in the period leading to Youth Month (June) this year.


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