Gauteng responds to youth employment challenges
21 Jun 2012
Around 1 000 young people from the township of Winterveldt, Tshwane on Wednesday flocked to listen to Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, as she launched the Township Enterprise Hubs (TEH). This is one of the provincial projects that seek to reduce youth unemployment.
The TEHs are business incubators in six poverty-stricken zones in Gauteng. These are Sharpeville, Thembisa, Winterveldt, Katlehong, Kagiso, and Sebokeng.
The Hubs will take the form of three different clusters: an Automotive Hub, an Enterprise Hub, and an Industrial Hub. These hubs will primarily target the unemployed youth through co-operatives, entrepreneurs, and Small and medium enterprise (SMEs).
"The TEHs complement other initiatives by the province as we intensify our fight against joblessness among young people," Mokonyane said. These interventions include programmes such as the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (Y-Age) which was launched in October last year and National Youth Service, amongst others.
The department of Economic Development, working in partnership with the University of Johannesburg, is also working with a Swiss company, Watches of Switzerland, to establish a school that will offer training in designing watches.
Plans are already in place to send a group of young people to Italy in September to acquire jewellery manufacturing skills. This programme is linked to the jewellery manufacturing precinct that will be based at OR Tambo International Airport.
To assist the youth apply for jobs in government, the province has also launched the Professional Job Centre at the Thusong Centre located inside the Maponya Mall in Soweto.
This facility brings government recruitment closer to where people are resident, and in a retail complex that is frequented by thousands on a monthly basis Moreover, Gauteng continues to offer learnerships, internships and work opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) targeting mainly young people.
"We recognise that youth unemployment is a serious concern for us in Gauteng. While these efforts may seem a drop in the ocean, we are positive that we will make a dent in youth joblessness by working together with all stakeholders. After all, unemployment is everyone's' problem," Mokonyane said.
Jack Bloom, the leader of the Democratic Alliance (DA), the main opposition party in the Gauteng Legislature, was in attendance at the launch.
Mokonyane said she had invited Bloom so that he could "get a chance to witness first-hand a programme of the Gauteng Provincial Government geared at providing a practical solution to addressing unemployment among the youth of Gauteng."
"We want Honourable Bloom to know and understand that our youth deserve better. We need those good ideas (from Bloom) to add-on to such initiatives (as the Hubs). Most importantly, we do not want to politicise projects such as these.
Let's leave politics in the Legislature, Member Bloom," she said.
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Issued by: Gauteng Office of the Premier
21 Jun 2012
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