Boost for W Cape skills development

The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) has launched the Lesedi Skills Development Academy in Atlantis in the Western Cape to give youth from the area a better chance in the job market.

“Government is aware that skills development in the past was limited to the minority and the majority of the people had less access, yet it is a critical requirement for the majority to get jobs. This is the reason every time we engage with business, we insist on skills development which is non-negotiable for all.

“To underpin the importance of skills development government launched the Youth Empowerment Service (YES) Programme. This programme aims to improve the grim employment outlook for young job seekers by offering work opportunities and therefore inclusion in the economy,” said Minister Davies at the launch on Tuesday.

Minister Davies indicated that business agreed to partner and create 300 000 internships per year for the unemployed youth for the next three years.

“Every bit counts as a means to address the issue of skills development and unemployment. We therefore cannot compromise if we need more people to participate meaningfully in the economy. The skills that the academy develops will assist the Atlantis people to tap into the proposed Atlantis Special Economic Zone [SEZ] amongst others. The SEZ is anticipated to be designated by the end of 2018,” said the Minister.

The academy was established to address the need for skilled artisans and to close the skills gap in the nuclear and broader energy sector as well as associated industries.

Chief Executive Officer of Lesedi, Francis Carruther, said to date, the academy has employed 35 learners, who are at various stages of training within their respective programme. He said 33 of these learners are from Atlantis.