Thousands of young people have received skills training through government’s labour market interventions over the past year.
Labour Minister Mildred Olifant announced this when she tabled her Budget Vote recently. She said one of the interventions – the Labour Activation Programme - which was funded through the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF), had made an impact in skills development.
“We targeted to train 2 000 UIF beneficiaries to prepare them for re-entry into the labour market, but instead, 3 117 workers were supported and 600 of these trainees were re-absorbed in real jobs.
“Five thousand one hundred and four (5 104) were supported through training offered by accredited Sector Education and Training Authorities and 450 aspiring entrepreneurs benefitted through tailored training programmes.
“Whilst the numbers may not be where we would want them, we are however very pleased with progress so far,” she said.
The Labour Activation Programme was launched to deal with the skills shortage faced by the country and to help the unemployed in both urban and rural areas to be marketable in the labour market.
Key priority areas
The Minister said some of the department’s priorities going forward would include:
- Speeding-up the finalisation of the Unemployment Insurance Amendment Bill.
- Improving the efficiency of the Compensation Fund.
- Fast-tracking the tabling of the proposed Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Amendment Bill and the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Bill.
- Improving service delivery by rolling out the self-help kiosks.
- Continuing to build the information and communication technology capacity of the department.
- Reviewing minimum wages for the vulnerable sectors.
- Ramping up the department’s performance in managing workplace conflict and dispute resolution.