The launch of training programmmes worth R7.9 billion will go a long way to address skills development challenges while also growing the economy, says Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.
“The launch of these projects, through the Labour Activation Programme, will go a long way in addressing unemployment, skills development and stimulating economic growth in our country,” said the Minister on Wednesday.
The launch of the programmes in Ballito, KwaZulu-Natal, are a result of partnership agreements entered into by the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Compensation Fund (CF). The agreements entail the training of close to 160 000 learners over the next few years with the aim of creating jobs and entrepreneurs for youth in KwaZulu-Natal and the rest of the country.
Dlamini-Zuma, who was accompanied at the launch by Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant, appealed to the private sector to partner up with government.
“We also call on the private sector to partner with the Department of Labour to address the social ills of the country, especially unemployment and job preservation for our youth,” said Dlamini-Zuma.
Meanwhile, Oliphant said the training will provide learners with critical skills needed in the job market.
“The training will equip learners with critical skills that will enable them to compete for jobs in the labour market or venture into their own businesses. Through the Labour Activation Programmes, we have provided funding for learners to be trained in various fields, including piloting, scuba diving and farming,” she said.
Other learners will be trained to become doctors, psychologists and nurses.
Siphesihle Madlose, one of the learners funded by the Department of Labour, as a first year medical student at the University of KwaZulu-Natal relayed his constant worry of whether he would complete his studies.
“It was tough on my family and myself not knowing where I would get funding, but after the Department of Labour assisted me, I was and remain extremely grateful. The entire experience has made me want to be a doctor that will serve the community and I hope the department does this for others,” said Mdlalose.
Hlengiwe Ngcobo, who was funded in the scuba diving project, said she did not even know how to swim before she was recruited.
“I had finished my photography diploma and did not have money to do my B-tech Degree. However, after undergoing the scuba diving project, I am now a qualified master diver who can teach others,” she said.