The Groen Sebenza project has launched and endeavors to train and skill unemployed youth with the skill sets in the biodiversity sector. The launch of the project was attended by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa and forms part of Environment Month celebrations.
The project has been spearheaded by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) along with its goal and mission to develop necessary skills and bridge the gap between education and job opportunities within the biodiversity sector. Capital backing and finance for the project is originating from the Development Bank of Southern Africa’s Jobs Fund.
The project’s target audience are young students who have at least a matric or a degree.
At the launch, Molewa communicated her thanks to all partners associated with the project and very proud to unveiling a pioneering project. She also express her excitement for being a part of and playing a leading role in the training and education of young students who happen to be vibrant and confident professional for the country’s biodiversity and natural resource management sector.
“This is a ground-breaking partnership with 33 environmental and biodiversity-focused organisations from all spheres of government, business and the NGO sector. “It is the Department of Environmental Affairs’ hope that the effective implementation of the incubator concept will have a catalytic impact on skills development and job creation,” she said.
Over the next two and half years, the Groen Sebenza project will train and skill roughly 800 out of work youth and place these candidates in skilled across public, private and non-governmental institutions in the local biodiversity sector. The main objective and structure of the project is centered on training, mentoring and workplace-based learning together with the goal to upgrade the skills of a group of young and capable professionals as well as help boost South Africa’s biodiversity sector which wishes to create jobs within the green economy.
A number of the students reaping benefits from this project also sole bread-winners of their extended families. The sole aim of the project is to train and offer matriculants and young professionals with the required skills and knowledge the capability to access the job market in the biodiversity sector.
“We are all aware, the battle against poverty is not won once one gains a qualification from an institution. The challenge within this sector is that students with the right qualifications struggle to bridge the gap between education and employment in the sector,” Molewa said.
SANBI Chief Executive Officer Dr Tanya Abrahamse said ” the project essentially brings to life, the ideals of the vision of a green economy by mobilising for and engendering the involvement of young people in the management of biodiversity through job creation.”
SANBI are confident and believe that the project is an excellent leap forward for the country to cope with the skills shortage in the sector. One success story is for 28 year old Sabelo Linda from Osizweni who holds an Honours degree in Science but was unemployed when joining the project. He is now employed by NCC Environmental Services in Cape Town.
For more info on the Groen Sebenza project – Click here
Source: SAnews.gov.za, sanbi.org (photo)