Seminar guides youth in the right direction

Hundreds of youth, matriculants, job seekers and those in need of financial aid for further studies attended seminar last week.

Hundreds of youth attended a post-school opportunities seminar to help them find employment, financial aid for further study and career guidaence.

This was the Youth Unemployment Prevention Project’s 10th annual seminar, which was hosted at Spine Road High School hall in Rocklands on Tuesday March 27.

The seminar took place hours after President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the Youth Employment Service (YES) in Johannesburg.

He said the YES initiative aimed to see more than one million young South Africans being offered paid work experience over the next three years, as part of placing the needs of and opportunities for young people at the centre of inclusive economic growth.

It is a partnership, led by the president, and involving government, business, labour and civil society.

The programme has three channels through which employment opportunities can occur.

Corporate work experiences

Businesses which participate in the programme should create one-year paid positions for youth aged between 18 and 35, in addition to these organisations’ current employment numbers.

Small, Medium and Micro-sized Enterprises (SMMEs) host placements

Businesses that do not have the capacity to place more people in their organisations, have the option of sponsoring the salary for a one-year placement in small and medium enterprises, in year one for seven to 10 months.

SMME development.

Young people are empowered to start and grow their own businesses, with support from YES in the form of training, seed funding and value-chain integration.

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, chief executive officer of the YES initiative, told the Plainsman, they were working with the private sector to build opportunities.

“Until the public comment phase of the Gazette Amendment is completed – this is a 60-day period – we are unable to commence with full scale activity.

“Once we are in roll-out phase, any youth in the database will be matched if jobs are available and if there is a match of skills, geography and abilities.”

YUPP co-ordinator, Faiez Dollie, said they would be meeting with YES representatives later this week, to flesh out the detail.

“We would agree with the initiative in principle if it is new and additional job opportunities for youth, and not the routine recruitment run,” he said.

Mr Dollie said research had shown that one year of work experience, coupled with a curriculum vitae and a reference letter, tripled a young person’s chances of finding employment.

YUPP ambassador Malika Safiedien, from Bonteheuwel, said since joining the organisation she had gained experience, skills and improved confidence.

“So many opportunities have come my way and I had the chance to interact and communicate with different people,” she said.

“Today, I want to encourage you to never give up on your dreams.

“Never let it rest, until your good is better and your better is the best. Don’t stop when you’re tired. Stop when you’ve accomplished what you set out to do,” she said.

In the past year YUPP has been recruiting youth and helping them to hone their talents, while raising awareness about the organisation, hosting events, doing administrative tasks and becoming youth ambassadors.

For details about YUPP, text via WhatsApp or SMS 079 622 0934 for assistance.

Maryana Iskander, chief executive officer of Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, welcomed the national initiative to increase work opportunities for unemployed youth.

“We look forward to putting our Harambee candidates front and centre to take up these opportunities and to working with our employer partners who will participate in YES,” she said.

Harambee has pick-up points in Mitchell’s Plain, where youth can complete application forms and leave them in a box for collection, which they then load on to their system.

There are boxes at Town Centre, Rocklands, Tafelsig and Lentegeur libraries, as well as at the Social Development office and Mosaic Centre in Tafelsig at the Nelson Mandela Family and Youth Centre, corner of AZ Berman and Kilimanjaro roads.