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Kusile Power Station, Mpumalanga, 28 June 2017: The marginalisation of young people in South Africa is primarily manifested in high youth unemployment – currently hovering at 50.9%. Now more than ever, youth targeted interventions are needed to enable young South Africans to actively participate and engage in society and the economy.
Skills development remains a top priority in the country and whilst the achievement of critical mass is desirable, quality in the form of sustainable projects that will offer long-term benefits to project recipients, as well as to society and the economy at large, are an important factor in addressing the country’s skills mismatch. A market gap exists to finding and appointing professional black youth owned (BYO) companies in the field of safety, health, environment, risk management and quality (SHERQ).
With this in mind, the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA), Eskom and Siemens have partnered to provide 15 black South African youth from the Nkangala District of Mpumalanga with comprehensive, accredited, academic, and work-based practical training in the professional field of SHERQ.
The project was launched at a function hosted on-site at Eskom’s Kusile Power Station in Mpumalanga on 28 June 2017.
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The HWSETA has successfully completed three research projects. These include:
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Kimberley, 22 July 2016: Having identified that the Northern Cape was an area where a great deal more could be done in terms of skills development and employer involvement in developing South Africa’s skills base, the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA) set about identifying programmes and projects that through their implementation would realise, not only skills development, but much needed capacity building in communities.
A launch function for the projects and programmes that have been implemented was held on 22 July 2016 at the Mittah Seperepere Convention Centre in Kimberley. The event was attended by the Honourable Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr Blade Nzimande, who delivered the keynote address at the event.
The HWSETA has made an investment of R16 million to benefit the communities of the Northern Cape through partnerships with the Northern Cape Premier’s Education Trust Fund (NCPETF); the Department of Education; the Department of Social Development; the Northern Cape Rural TVET College; the Northern Cape Urban TVET College and the Northern Cape Community Education and Training College.
The launch function followed the official opening of the HWSETA Provincial Office in the Northern Cape by the Honourable Dr Blade Nzimande. The HWSETA has established an office in the province to better meet the needs of stakeholders in the province, as well as work closer with employers in opening up their places of work as places of training.
Commenting on the involvement of employers in skills development initiatives, the CEO of the HWSETA, Yvonne Mbane, says: “An employer that contributes a skills development levy and fails to participate robs surrounding communities the opportunity of development and growth.”
The projects being funded by the HWSETA will see 42 financially needy students residing in the Northern Cape studying health and social development qualifications receiving the funding they require; 273 learners from the Northern Cape Rural TVET and Northern Cape Urban TVET Colleges being trained in early childhood development; and 1800 unemployed persons at 12 community education and training centres across the province, of which 6 are in rural areas, being funded for adult education and training programmes.
“These partnerships are not only an important milestone for the HWSETA, but serve as a massive step towards skills development and empowering communities in the Northern Cape.” concludes Ms Mbane.