Unemployed graduates score skills training

Luchulumanco Nanto is one of the unemployed graduates who will benefit from the NSFAS-UIF training programme. / SUPPLIED
Luchulumanco Nanto is one of the unemployed graduates who will benefit from the NSFAS-UIF training programme. / SUPPLIED

Luchulumanco Nanto believes he has been unlucky when it comes to finding employment.

Nanto, 24, graduated with a national diploma in accounting at Cape Peninsula University of Technology last year and has never been called to an interview despite several applications for work.

But his fortunes might now change.

He is one of the first beneficiaries of the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) training programme for unemployed graduates.

"I needed practical training in accounting last year but I could not get it. I was told about this programme and I submitted my CV.

"I am excited that I am allowed an opportunity to get what I wanted because I only needed training in the accounting field. I hope to be permanently employed after the training," Nanto said.

Sinesipho Duda, 23, has a diploma in finance and said she hoped that after completion jobs will come her way.

NSFAS has launched the pilot programme in partnership with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF).

NSFAS spokesperson Kagisho Mamabolo said the programme will offer work experience to 50 unemployed graduates.

"It will offer former NSFAS beneficiaries work experience within various departments in the organisation," he said.

About 995 students will undergo training in various skills disciplines including buildings and civil construction, office administration, wholesale and retail operations, help desk and merchandising, accounting and hospitality.

Mamabolo said the number was chosen from the unemployed youth under the department of labour and some are previous UIF and NSFAS beneficiaries.

"They will be paid a stipend and the training will last for a year. To ensure that the pilot moves to a full programme, we are in continuous discussions with the UIF to determine the success of the pilot," Mamabolo said.

He said the training will expose participants to the working environment so as to empower and position them for good working opportunities.

NSFAS administrator Dr Randall Carolissen said as the scheme, they understood young people's frustrations and they were the first ones to see the impact of high numbers of graduates who have completed their studies but are unable to find employment.

"There are various problems causing this, the first being that the corporate sector has still not expanded its graduate programme capacity to allow for bigger numbers of graduates to enter the workplace on internships and apprenticeships," Carolissen said.

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