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WORKERS STAND to gain when trade unions and Setas collaborate on skills training and certification.
The first step was realised when 700 graduates were conferred with competency certificates by the Services Seta on Thursday at Durban's International Convention Centre.
About 87percent of the 1000 trainees were immediately placed in jobs. They were a part of a workforce recruited by Andrew Mathibe, the Seta's chairperson and representative of the Communications Workers Union.
Present at the ceremony was Cosatu president Sdumo Dlamini and the ANCYL's Wandile Mkhize. The trade unions have decided to become involved in training to improve their members' qualifications and to improve the lot of retrenched and unemployed people.
It is a timely move since the Setas are moving from the Department of Labour to the Ministry of Higher Education in line with Minister Blade Nzimande's vision.
Dlamini said 24,5percent of the labour force was unemployed, with a further 510000 of the unemployed having given up on ever finding work.
"Blacks are the majority of the poor. The class divide between rich and poor is widening, while South Africa has produced many millionaires. The workers' share of the national income has been on the decline since 1981 and continues to decline," Dlamini said.
He said economic development in South Africa did not go hand in hand with an investment in skills development.
"Unless ordinary workers see skills development as an important way of transforming their lives, we will never succeed in creating jobs opportunities," he added.
Mkhize said ANCYL would launch a campaign to assist young graduates into the world of work. He said changes in the country were the result of sacrifices made by the youth. He challenged the youth to work hard and stay away from drugs, alcohol and unsafe sex.
Ivor Blumenthal, the chief executive of the Services Seta, said the graduation was important because the unions were in charge of the process.