The Tshepo 1 Million programme has ushered in a season of hope for the youth of Gauteng, with over 473 000 young people having benefitted to date.
The programme is aimed at empowering one million young people through skills training, job placement and entrepreneurship development, which in turn helps the youth to find sustainable jobs.
“Since December 2014, over 437 000 young people have benefitted from Tshepo 1 Million. Our target is to reach one million young people by 2019,” Gauteng Premier David Makhura said on Thursday when tabling his 2017 political report to the provincial legislature.
The Premier is optimistic that this target can be surpassed with cooperation from the private sector.
Boosting township economy to benefit youth
Gauteng has about 2.7 million young people aged between 15 and 34 years, who are neither studying nor working. Half of them have not completed Grade 12 and are unemployable, and close to 60% of them are in long-term unemployment. They have never worked and have lost hope.
As part of efforts to empower the youth and revitalise the township economy, the Gauteng government is making notable strides in enabling the youth to start their own businesses.
“The township economy is much friendlier to youth start-up enterprises and through Tshepo 1 Million, there is a dedicated focus on supporting youth enterprises, especially in franchising,” Premier Makhura said.
The Innovation Hub has been doing work in stimulating entrepreneurship and innovation among the youth through Ekasi Labs and Innovation Centres.
“Seven Ekasi Labs are focusing on supporting entrepreneurs and youth with their innovations and fast-tracking the establishment of sustainable and innovative businesses. We have been focusing on unlocking opportunities in various sectors that are labour-absorbing,” Premier Makhura said.
Last month, the province convened the second Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Action Lab with key industry players in the BPO and ICT sectors.
The purpose of the Action Lab is to build a leadership coalition willing to collaborate in the growth of business process services that can contribute to the growth of the Gauteng economy, and co-develop an action plan for delivering on any agreed initiatives.
According to the Premier, the work in the BPO sector has already created 6 000 new jobs this year.
“Going forward we have committed ourselves as well as our partners to work towards the creation of 24 000 new jobs over the next 36 months. Twenty percent of these jobs will be for the exclusive inclusion of young people who have never worked before.”
The number of township enterprises that do business with the provincial government has also dramatically increased from 642 in 2014 to 4 182 in October 2017. Public procurement spending on township enterprises by provincial departments and municipalities in Gauteng is now more than R10 billion. – SAnews.gov.za