We can all agree that youth empowerment plays a critical role in nation building, young people not only have the ability to create identities for themselves but also have the strength and ambition to move the country forward. I firmly believe that the future prosperity of South Africa in particular, is secured because of the qualities and abilities possessed by the youth of this country.
With that same notion in mind, the City of Johannesburg in partnership with the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator launched the Vulindlel’ eJozi youth skills empowerment initiative- in an effort to break down barriers by creating pathways to opportunities for young people.
Harambee does the screening, assessing and advises young people who came out to learn more about Vulindlel’ eJozi. The organisation is set to identify and create opportunities for young people based on their aptitudes and capabilities.
The programme prepares young people in Johannesburg to enter work, education and training opportunities, allowing them to access better employment prospects and job placements. Vulindlel’ eJozi identifies candidates through various platforms including Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator (www.harambee.mobi) where some young people are already registered for assistance in accessing various opportunities.
“We’re leading in terms of youth development in the City of Johannesburg. The Vulindlela eJozi programme is critical to creating access to opportunities for our young people in the city,” says Johannesburg Mayor, Mr Parks Tau.
The initiative is also aimed at teaching them skills that will prepare them for entry into the workforce.
“They will then receive feedback on the options available to them and be able to access opportunities that will be best-suited for them. Opportunities exist for driven young people in the form of job placements, entrepreneurship or further development and improvement of their skills.”
The programme aims to reach up to 200 000 young people with various opportunities that include job readiness training, further education and entrepreneurship skills development. It targets young people between 18-34 who are unemployed, discouraged work seekers and Grade 10 school leavers.
According to a 2015 report by Brookings, the unemployment rate among youth (ages 15 to 34) in Gauteng alone, the home province of the Johannesburg region, was nearly 40 percent, exceeding the 37 percent national rate. It is hoped that this initiative will make a big difference in curbing youth unemployment, especially in Johannesburg townships.