Eastern Cape Social Development invests R10 mil in youth skills dev

JUNE 13, 2015

The Eastern Cape Department of Social Development on Friday announced that it has injected over R10 million in skills development targeting unemployed youth across the province, which has a youth unemployment rateclose to 40%.

The department has identified at least 30 young people between the ages of 17 to 35 with a minimum qualification of Grade 12 to be trained on a one year training programme as chefs at Stenden University in Port Alfred.

The youth come from disadvantaged backgrounds and the department says it wants to break the poverty cycle.

Beneficiary, Sive Witbooi says this opportunity will change her life forever.

"I used to sit at the location (township) doing nothing and I was looking for a job. So this is a dream come true to me because I've always wanted to do BCom in hospitality management but my parent had no funds to pay for my fees."

Meanwhile, Dr. Wouter Hensens, Vice Chancellor of the Stenden University in Port Alfred, says the partnership between the university and the department has yielded positive results.

"The results have been very promising and we are quite keen to continue with this project and we feel that it has a very strong success rate in terms of employment. The hospitality industry is still growing and there's a strong need for talent and skill and we find that with a full time degree program we have more jobs available when they graduate."

The department says it is of paramount importance to equip the youth with skills as to enable young people to participate meaningfully in mainstream economy.

---additional reporting SABC.