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Gauteng unveils strategy to tackle youth unemployment

GAUTENG premier Nomvula Mokonyane's government has adopted an employment strategy that will focus on the youth.

The employment creation strategy is based on: youth entrepreneurship development and training; township enterprise hubs; youth placement and skills development.

Plans are afoot to increase the number of township enterprise hubs to Katlehong, Sebokeng and Kagiso. Hubs are business incubators that target the unemployed and informal businesses across a range of sectors.

They will not only cater for the youth, women, people with disabilities, small businesses and cooperatives but will also provide shared manufacturing facilities, training support, capacity building and incubation to start-ups.

Each hub will host three clusters of work. These are:

l Automotive cluster will focus on body repairs and spraying, wheel and tyre, audio and sound fitment and repairs, auto spares and general motor mechanic.

l Services cluster will focus on providing general services like hair salons, car wash, laundry, internet cafes and other services, depending on market factors in each area.

l Light manufacturing cluster will focus initially on furniture, cleaning chemicals, clothing and textiles, and depending on market factors in each area, may include fast moving goods.

The Winterveldt Hub just outside Pretoria, which will have a special focus on automotive related businesses such as tyre fitment, panel beating, body parts and repairing, was completed in May. Another enterprise hub will be launched in Mohlakeng, West Rand, soon.

If you want to take advantage of these initiatives, visit the Gauteng Services Centre in 77 Fox Street in Johannesburg. Job seekers are required to supply their details into a database, including their CVs.

This portal caters for young people looking for bursaries, work or business opportunities. More than 5000 bursaries have been set aside for the 2013/14 financial year.

"We encourage people to come into the system and tell us what they are doing or what they are looking for and we will be able recommend the best way forward," spokeswoman on economic development, Phindile Kunene, said.

Those in the database stand to benefit from 6000 learnerships and experiential training while 300 will be placed in public-private sector employment.

Interested candidates - be it jobs, business opportunities or internships - can also leave their CVs at the Thusong Service Centre at Maponya Mall in Soweto or search online at no cost.

Meanwhile, the SA Clothing and Textile Workers' Union (Sactwu) last week announced that it had set aside R25-million for a youth employment development programme to be rolled out over a three-year period.

It includes support for workplace internships, job placements for unemployed graduates, work experience placements in trade unions for unemployed graduates.

There will also be jobs for the youth in Sactwu-owned clothing factories, artisan apprenticeship job application assistance for unemployed matriculants, 500 university level bursaries each year, support for numeracy and literacy development for young learners and other initiatives that include::

l 20 industry machinist internships for inexperienced unemployed youth for six months;

l 10 industry workplace internships for unemployed graduates for a period of six months;

l 10 union workplace experience placements in Sactwu for unemployed graduates for six months;

l 10 grants to help 10 unemployed matriculants with applications for artisan apprenticeship programmes in the clothing and textiles industry;

l As of June this year, the union will guarantee 50 jobs to school leavers in factories in KwaZulu Natal at a cost of R2-million a year;

l The union is also hoping, to create 50 job opportunities to youths in the Eastern Cape later this year.

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