Government embarks on huge jobs and training drive

Minister to launch half a billion rand job creation project.

The Department of Employment and Labour plans to implement several new training projects aimed at creating jobs in the fibre optics, food handling and mixed farming sectors.

The projects are being undertaken through a partnership agreement between the Fuze Institute for Humanitarian Praxis and the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

Through its Labour Activation Programmes (LAP), the UIF has set aside R551 million for the three projects, targeting 19,921 beneficiaries. Seventy percent of those to be trained are former UIF contributors who lost their jobs. The learners receive monthly stipends while undergoing training.

The training programmes will primarily focus on the following skills disciplines:

  • 14,771 beneficiaries as chief food handlers
  • 5,000 beneficiaries in enterprise development (mixed farming)
  • 150 beneficiaries as fibre optic technicians

The department says the 14,771 beneficiaries have been employed by the Department of Education in KwaZulu-Natal since completing their training.

In addition, the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs in KwaZulu-Natal has pledged to support the 5,000 learners’ co-operatives by purchasing their farming produce while Link Africa has committed to employing the 150 beneficiaries as fibre optic technicians upon completion of training.

During the February state of the nation address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the government will focus on creating job opportunities in the country over the coming year, particularly for the youth.

“A revitalised National Youth Service will recruit its first cohort of 50,000 young people during the next year, creating opportunities for young people to contribute to their communities, develop their skills and grow their employability,” he said. “The Department of Higher Education and Training will place 10,000 unemployed TVET graduates in workplaces from April 2022.”

The president also called on the private sector to support these measures and to give as many young people as possible their first job.