The Speech of the Free State MEC for Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation, Mr Dan Kgothule, on the occasion of the Career Exhibition, Kutlwanong/Odendaalsrus
4 May 2012Programme Director
Ladies and Gentlemen
One of the five key priorities of government is education. As a matter of fact education is the pinnacle of government priorities in view of the strategic and important role it plays in the transformation of society socially, economically and otherwise.
It is therefore a responsibility of everyone in and outside government to ensure that we advance the goal of education in our society. As the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation we contribute towards the attainment of this priority outcome of education through our various programmes such as Library Services, Arts in School, School Sport and so on.
This Career exhibition thus takes place in this context and against the background of education as being the first of the five priorities of government which we all have to ensure it is realised and achieved. This career exhibition must serve as a rallying point and a further motivating force to young people in general and learners in particular to take up the opportunities of education in various fields of study.
It must serve as an eye opener to everyone, to the many opportunities that are available in and outside government that can be accessed by anyone. We stage this career exhibition to empower those that might find themselves at the margins of economic and social opportunities to know about the requisite skills to unlock opportunities for themselves.
Programme director, another key priority of government is job creation. At the time when economic freedom in our lifetime has become the battle cry of young people it is our responsibility as government in general to play a role in our various ways to advance this economic freedom.
It has been documented that the challenge of job creation is not necessarily an outcome of lack of jobs but lack of requisite skills to fill the available job opportunities that are out there. Today young people from around this municipality will begin to know which careers can be pursuit and what skills or knowledge is required to follow those careers in this department.
I must say that as the department we have embarked on this path of advancing the goal of education in our province through programmes and activities that target students even at tertiary level. We have rolled out a programme for students at tertiary institutions such as Youth Camp and Cultural Evening programme that we hosted last year in the province as well as early this year in Cape Town.
Through this programme we are expanding the horizons of knowledge of our students so that their focus is not just on the traditional knowledge that they gather from their academic fields but also incorporates knowledge about the broader society. We have conceptualised the Youth Camp and the Cultural Evenings programme as vehicles that will foster the attainment of the goal of an empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship amongst students.
Ladies and gentlemen, it should certainly be clear to young people that there are indeed opportunities available in government as well as in the private sector. Skills development has become an important vehicle which is available for accessing the existing and future job opportunities in different spheres. I can point out for example that to date, 23 graduates have been involved in an internship programme in my department. As I indicated during my budget speech in April an intake of extra 7 graduates will be made in the next financial year.
I also pointed out during my budget speech that immediately after signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and partnering with Culture, Arts, Tourism , Sports and Hospitality Sector Education and Training Authority (CATHSSETA), my department will involve more students in learnerships and Internship programmes in line with the National Skills Development Strategy III and the Cabinet decision of 2002, which says the number of young people involved in internship and learnership programmes should reach 5% of the staff establishment of each government department and the appointment of interns shall therefore not be less than 2.5% of the total staff establishment.
We have also made a commitment that the department will continue to strive to provide job opportunities to the interns beyond their internship programmes.
The starting point is therefore empowerment of young people with knowledge about these opportunities. This Career Exhibition is therefore an important platform for that empowerment process. This is the job that we have to do and do diligently. We cannot for a moment afford to ignore this responsibility. We are confronted by a number of social ills such as drug and alcohol abuse amongst the youth.
The scourge of gangsterism, teenage pregnancies, rapes and other crimes will not disappear through our wishes. They will be eliminated through concrete efforts and interventions by all of us.
I hope this Exhibition realises the goals we have set. I take this opportunity to wish all the learners and young people who are here the best of luck in their future endeavours.
I thank you
Issued by: Free State Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation
4 May 2012
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