Public Works Deputy Minister, Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu has assured young people who happen to be on her department’s Artisan Development programme work opportunities upon concluding their training.
Bogopane-Zulu made her commitment at the graduation of the initial group of young people who successfully completed the theoretical training of her department’s Artisan Development Programme.
“I wish to make a commitment that every one of you would walk into jobs that fit your training and skills after successfully finishing the programme. I can’t train you and not place you. Even if I would no longer be in my current position, I will not forget about this commitment and I will be there,” she said.
An overall total of 98 learners primarily from the Northern Cape obtained their certificates from Bogopane-Zulu at Pelindaba Nuclear Energy Corporation of South Africa (NECSA) outside Saulsville.
She additionally appealed to the graduates to stay the course until such time as they finish their 82 weeks of training.
“As our very first group of this programme, you need to realise that we are proud of you and we want you to remain on this training until you complete your remaining 82 weeks.
“You should consider yourselves fortunate, many of us studied in dark and poor conditions and if I were you, I was not going to mess up this training opportunity directly linked to workplace skills,” said Bogopane-Zulu who is visually impaired.
The Artisan Development Programme will certainly make it possible for students to leave with full artisan qualifications along with advanced practical skills.
The training programme is financed by the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) National Youth Service (NYS) while NECSA has been designated as a service provider to train the students.
Deputy Director-General of the EPWP, Stanley Henderson said when the programme started in January there were 100 learners, but two dropped out.
He further mentioned that 38 of the learners that happen to be obtaining training in boiler making, fitting and turning, mechanical, electrical and welding are young women.
Henderson pointed out that more youth from other provinces will also be recruited in future intake following the analysis of this first training programme.
Talking on behalf of the graduates, Pulane Kealeboga Jack, 27, from the Northern Cape said: “All of us wish to convey our gratitude in thanking the department for providing us with this opportunity.
“We all had our ups and downs during the past eight months we have been here, however , today we are proud to say we are apprentices and it is time to plough back what we have learned in our different trades. I came here without having any basic skills in welding, but a lot of people can be surprise to see what I can do.”
Another learner, Elroy Edmond said he finds boiler making interesting. “Before I came here, I knew absolutely nothing about boiler making and today I am enjoying the training.
“I will never disappoint by dropping out because I see no reason to start something and never finish,” he explained.
The Artisan Development Programme is geared towards positively contributing to addressing the challenges resulting from the high level of unemployment in South Africa.
The vast majority of among the youth thereby offering them with a chance to earn an income whilst attaining technical skills that will boost their prospects of employment, entrepreneurship and overall development.
The skills development programme includes accommodation and meals for 98 learners. The National Skills Fund will take care of all training related costs including training provider costs, assessment, moderation and certification. Various other costs to be covered by the department include; logistical costs for learners screening and selection sessions. Top up stipends (R660 pp/ pm for theoretical component) and learners allowance (R1200 pp/pm for the practical component) as well as transport costs during assessments.
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