Local NPO looks to niche skills development to help address employment crisis

According to Statistic SA’s Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) Q3: 2020, “Compared to Q3: 2019, the percentage of young persons aged 15-34 years who were not in employment, education or training (NEET) increased by 2.6 percentage points from 40.4% to 43.0% (out of 20.5 million) in Q3: 2020. The NEET rate for males increased by 3.1 percentage points, while for females the rate increased by 20 percentage points in Q3: 2020.”
 
Gabriel Humay, project manager at Salesian Institute Youth Projects (SIYP), says that confronting the situation starts with offering equal access to quality education, understanding the barriers to skills development, practising new ways of teaching and creating more economic opportunities for young people whether it be in existing employment opportunities or encouraging entrepreneurship.

‘No overnight solution’

“Of course, many of these equalising factors are already in play, but there is no overnight solution. At SIYP’s Learn to Live School of Skills, all courses are approved by the Western Cape Education Department. We are piloting the interactive 21st century teaching methodology of project-based learning (PBL) with the Department of Basic Education and we remove stressors, such as the cost of learning materials and transport, so that pupils can truly focus on their studies. But above all, we believe that the programmes we have in place that teach skills in niche industries, such as hospitality, carpentry, maritime and automotive, will provide opportunities for placement straight out of school.”

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