SKILLS AND CAPACITY DEVELOPMENT
In terms of skills development, the city has improved the employment prospects of the youth and it is being implemented in collaboration with the private sector.
The programme was implemented using 14 local youth offices, which provide business training, funding application and referrals to other support programmes. The City has appointed over 6 332 young people to the work readiness programme and internships.
In advancing skills development, during period 2016 to date the City increased the bursary allocation from R10m to R100m per year. So far the scheme has benefitted almost 9 000 young people and over R470m has been spent to date in developing the local skills base.
According to the Executive Mayor Councillor Mzwandile Masina, the programme saw 202 companies benefitting from ongoing mentorship and training in the 2017/18 financial year more particularly manufacturing, services, agriculture and construction.
The City held a Youth Economic Summit in June 2019, which enabled access to information, exposure and programmes for 5 682 young people. A total of 83 young entrepreneurs, from 13 townships in the City, participated in the Lion’s Den programme through which young people pitch their work positively after being taken through the business model canvass.
Masina says the city has created more than 26 000 work opportunities through Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). Short-term opportunities were created during the construction of infrastructure projects within the communities including water and sanitation, roads and storm water, local housing programmes. One of the most successful programmes implemented through EPWP is a three-year plumber’s apprentice programme, which is towards the end of completion, where 94 trainees will receive a fully accredited plumber’s certificate at the end of the programme.
The Executive Mayor adds that a total of 454 graduates were given job opportunities via the work readiness placement programme. However, the number could have been more but for the impact of Covid-19.
Forty-nine learners completed a full qualification NQF Level 3 learnership programme and 1 150 learners attended short skills courses. For the extension programme, 240 farmers’ cooperatives were assessed and profiled; and the 26 that were selected will be earmarked for mentorship.
The other environmental and social sector programmes such as Siyakhokha, which entailed cleaning of formal and informal trading areas made a huge impact not only on employing the community but also resulted in cleaner informal trading areas and improvement in the city’s rates collection.