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North West focuses on youth development

Written by More Matshediso
Creating employment is one of the North West’s most pressing tasks.

The North West government has started implementing a provincial action plan to help young people get educated, trained and employed.Technical and vocational education and training colleges to play their role in skills development.

With an estimated 300 000-plus young people who are not employed, nor in the education or training system in the province, Premier Supra Mahumapelo said government is working on getting the youth to contribute to the economy.

He said young talent is needed in growth sectors like agriculture, mining, manufacturing and Information Communication Technology (ICT).

The provincial action plan was produced towards the end of 2017 during a Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies (VTSD) Skills Development Lekgotla, which brought together relevant brain power to craft practical solutions to unemployment in the province.

Premier Mahumapelo said the plan will be implemented by all provincial departments, municipalities and state-owned entities.

Early implementation steps include:

  • Collaborating with the National Skills Fund to provide general security professional training to about 1 000 youth; and
  • About 43 learners from rural areas have been registered with Denel Technical Academy to study artisan and aviation-related training (aircraft mechanic, electrical engineering, fitter and turner and welding).

“In 2019, the province will open a provincial technical academy as a satellite campus of the Kempton Park Denel Academy at the Mahikeng Airport,” he said.

“We will also be implementing the Sefalana Poverty Eradication Initiative as part of VTSD industrialisation to produce-much needed food in our communities,” he added.

He said the initiative will involve approximately 700 unemployed youth from across the province in agricultural food production, with households selling any surplus produce.

In addition, three technical and vocational education and training colleges have been identified to be part of 25 pilot projects as centres of specialisation to produce much-needed artisan skills.

  • Mankwe Orbit College will train diesel mechanics;
  • Brits Orbit College will train electrical engineers; and
  • Vuzelela Klerksdorp Campus will produce bricklayers.

“The pilot projects will give employment to 40 learners per campus,” he said.

Social welfare

During the 2017/18 financial year, the Department of Social Development partnered with non-profit organisations to improve service delivery to social grant beneficiaries.

Premier Mahumapelo said through the partnerships, the department has achieved the following:

  • 852 people with disabilities had access to day care services, and 193 of them participated in protective workshops; 
  • 407 beneficiaries were cared for in residential care facilities;
  • 3 858 beneficiaries received social rehabilitation services; and
  • 23 815 senior citizens received care and support from residential care facilities and community-based projects.

He said the province’s first state-run residential care facility for people with disabilities will be designed in the 2018/19 financial year in Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District.