SAnews.gov.za (Tshwane)

17 June 2014

South Africa: Putting the Youth Employment Accord to Work

The North West Provincial Government will take stock of how it has been rolling out the Youth Employment Accord in order to improve its benefits for the young people of that province.

Representatives of the provincial government made the announcement to over 9 000 delegates, who took part in youth dialogues held across all 19 municipalities over the weekend.

The assessment of the Youth Employment Accord - to be conducted by the new administration led by Premier Supra Mahumapelo - will cover the intake of young people in the private, green economy and business process sectors. It will also look at the promotion of young cooperatives and entrepreneurship.

A 60% target has been set for the absorption of youth in the green economy, with the solar heater installation programme identified as a youth focused sector.

A target of 80% has been set for young people in the business process sector, which includes call centres. Commitments to absorb young people -- made through the Expanded Public Works Programme and the Community Works Programme - will also be assessed.

The assessment will also examine the efficiency and effectiveness of the National Rural Youth Service Corps (Narysec) programme and the Green, Health and Literacy Brigades in the North West.

Young people who participated in the dialogues, held under the theme 'Youth Moving South Africa Forward', expressed optimism about the establishment of a youth service portal.

The portal will provide unemployed young people with critical information they require about goods, services, learnerships, bursaries, youth cooperatives, entrepreneurships and job opportunities to participate in the mainstream economy.

"We are excited about the great initiative which has raised our hope," said 28-year-old Katlego Mopharing from Montshioa.

Her sentiments were echoed by 33-year-old community leader from Lotlhakaneng village, Eric Manokula, who said that the initiative was a good start towards empowering young people to access information and funding.

"There are no short cuts to success. Young people should seek information that should advance their interest in business. We should not rely solely on government to solve our problems. We should be innovative and venture into identified growth sectors to assist government to solve the challenge of youth unemployment through job creation," successful young Mahikeng businessman, Kelebogile Jacques Seeco of Dikgwetlo Trading, said in motivating aspirant entrepreneurs.

The accord, which was signed in April last year, seeks to improve education and skilling of young people, helping them to find jobs or start their own businesses. As part of the accord, government commits itself to increasing the number of people employed in the public sector, while certain industries have set youth development targets.

- SAnews.gov.za

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