Public Works and Infrastructure Deputy Minister, Noxolo Kiviet, has encouraged young people who have completed their training through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) to use their acquired skills to look for employment in the formal sector.
“I am strongly convinced that you will live up to your calling as artisans in various fields of the built environment to the very best of your abilities,” Deputy Minister Kiviet said on Friday.
Officiating at the graduation ceremony of young people who have completed their training in the various fields of the built environment, held in Pretoria, Kiviet told the graduates that the department is proud of their success.
“As you exit the programme today, I wish to encourage you to use the skills you have acquired from the training to look for employment in the formal sector,” Kiviet said.
In total, 37 young people have completed their three year training in the different fields who passed their trade test and received the Red Seal certificates issued by the Qualification Council for Trade and Occupation (QCTO) under Section 26(D) (4) of the Skills Development Act, 1998 (Act No 97 of 1998).
Kiviet also encouraged graduates to establish cooperatives so that they can assist the country in the important task of creating work opportunities for other young people in their communities.
She said the Artisan Development Programme is one of the key government initiatives aimed at providing scarce and critical skills to youth, thereby affording the trainees better employment prospects.
“It is important to note that the EPWP program in one of the apprenticeship programme, it plays a critical role in the workforce and in the provision of scarce and critical skills in South Africa,” the Deputy Minister said.
Kiviet said the EPWP is currently training a further 367 young people across South Africa in various artisan trades such as plumbing, painting, paving, welding, and general civil work.
Kiviet explained that the graduating young people are part of the 40 young people who were recruited through the National Youth Service (NYS) Programme.
“The selected participants demonstrated an interest for further learning and they met the minimum requirement for artisan training which is N2 or Grade 12 with Mathematics and Science,” Kiviet said.
One of the graduates, Emanuel Happy Kgori, who qualified as a plumber, said upon hearing about the programme, took advantage of the opportunity.
“I thank the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure for giving us this opportunity to improve our lives,” he said.
Kgori said he is happy with his achievement.
Also graduating, was Pretty Khumalo who qualified as a bricklayer.
“Am happy that I can be counted among women who break the stereotype that bricklaying is for men.
“Bricklaying is not only for men, anyone can do it,” she said.
Narrating her journey to becoming a qualified bricklayer, Khumalo said the journey has not been easy.
“At some stage I was about to give up but had to persevere, I am happy for the opportunity given to us as young people to be qualified artisans,” Khumalo said.
The young graduates were recruited through the EPWP NYS programme.
During the training, the learners were receiving a stipend of R3 000 a month.
The selected participants demonstrated an interest in further learning and they met the minimum requirements for artisan training which is N2 or Grade 12 with Mathematics and Science.
The programme was fully funded through the 5% NYS budget allocation from the DPWI Justice College project WCS 047104 and it consisted of the following trades: 22 electrical, 12 bricklaying, and three for plumbing.
Source: South African Government News Agency