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The City’s work and employment readiness skills programme has seen nearly 200 young people offered short-term work opportunities at schools to put their theoretical training into practice. Read more below:

The City of Cape Town has put 171 young people through their paces in a work and employment readiness skills programme, run by the Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate’s Youth Development Programme.

For the financial year until the end of June 2017, each of the eight Social Development Department districts will target 60 young people to participate in the progamme at a cost of just under R800 000.

The training touches on a number of aspects like computer literacy and writing skills, communication and conflict management skills, and life skills. The aim is to help participants find employment, but also understand the importance of having these skills and how to apply them in the workplace and in their personal lives.‘Youth unemployment is one of our biggest challenges. The situation is further compounded by the fact that many employers are reluctant to employ young people because they simply don’t have the time to train up people and so opt for experience instead. The other concern is that some young people aren’t necessarily emotionally equipped to handle the responsibilities that come with a job. Our programme looks at many of these aspects,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Councillor Suzette Little.

Once the participants complete the six days of training, they are placed at schools in their areas for 44 days through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) for hands-on work experience to put their skills to the test. The young people assist with various administrative duties at the schools and receive a certificate upon completion of the work placement. On 30 November 2016 the latest batch of participants (pictured) attended their certificate ceremony at the Northdene Community Hall in Kraaifontein.

‘We’ve received very good feedback from schools where our participants have been placed and many have indicated that they need this kind of assistance for longer than the placement period. Unfortunately we don’t have the funds to keep young people employed in this manner, but we hope that the training and exposure will make these young people more attractive to potential employers,’ added Councillor Little.

The Youth Development Programme is also reaching out once again to community-based organisations by training their youth volunteers in organisational capacity-building matters like how to register a non-profit organisation, fundraising, and operating a budget, etc. Of the 300 candidates targeted for training, 22-day work opportunities will be provided to them if they attend and complete the full five days of training. This week, a group of candidates received their certificates during a ceremony in Kraaifontein after completing the training course (pictured).

One of the success stories from the organisational capacity-building training is 23-year-old Juanita Lint (pictured) from Fisantekraal who received a one-year learnership from the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA).

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