Minister Blade Nzimande takes Career Guidance Services to the Community of Mitchells Plain and Khayelitsha

The Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr. Blade Nzimande, MP, hosted a Career Expo on Wednesday, 23 April 2014, at the False Bay College Mitchell’s Plain Campus.

The event targeted learners and youth from Mitchells Plain and the Khayelitsha community, who have not had access to education or employment opportunities.

Through this programme, the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) sought to equip learners and out-of-school youth with the necessary information that would enable them to make informed career choices and tap into other opportunities in the post-school education and training space.

The Career Expo included exhibitors from the Department, institutions of higher learning in the Western Cape, Technical and Vocational Education and Training (former FET) colleges.

These included Boland College, College of Cape Town, False Bay College, Northlink College and West Coast College as well as stakeholders such as the 17 Seta’s. Information on study opportunities, bursary information, opportunities for self-employment and skills courses were provided.

Aligned to the Career Expo, Minister of Higher Education and Training, Dr. Nzimande, MP, delivered his keynote address.

Also in attendance were Provincial Government Representatives, Sector Education and Training Authorities, Technical and Vocational Education and Training Colleges Principals and Lecturers and approximately 2000 unemployed Youth from the Mitchell’s Plain and Khayelitsha communities.

Minister Nzimande elaborated on the various initiatives and successes of the DHET and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme.

“In spite of these successful initiatives, as DHET and as a country, we are still faced with a number of problems. For instance, there is a growing number of youth between the ages of   15 – 24 who are not in employment, education and training (NEET). In 2011, the average unemployment rate for City of Cape Town youth between the ages 15-24 was reported to be at 23.8%.

This situation is pronounced in townships like Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain, the hotbeds of militancy which were sidelined by the apartheid government.

Through our various programmes, like this Expo which has brought all of us here today, as government we are doing our utmost to ensure that our youth is freed from the scourge of unemployment, poverty and crime and that it is absorbed in the educational and economic systems of our country.  

My Department has launched the slogan of ‘turning every workplace into a training space’.

All provinces must internalise and institutionalise this for the sake of our students. In various ways, skills development programmes, including work placement, go far towards addressing burning issues of employment equity and the redress of past imbalances brought about by apartheid.

Coloureds, Africans and Indians must continue to make sturdy progress towards occupying senior management positions both in the private sector and government in order to reflect the demographics of our country.

As government and as the DHET, we are committed to serving every South African irrespective of race, colour or creed.  
I must take this opportunity to make the following pledges to the young people of Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain: we are issuing a total of 130 university bursaries; 30 young people will receive artisan development training; 70 will receive apprenticeship development; 290 will receive learnerships, and 20 of our young future leaders will participate in the skills programmes.

All these will be funded and facilitated by our SETAs such as, FP&M SETA, HWSETA, INSETA, LGSETA, SASSETA, and SERVICES SETA.

Various SETAs have put their shoulders to the wheel to ensure that they fully service our people. To strengthen work placement between industry and TVET institutions, we have resumed the process of opening SETA offices in TVET colleges.

To date, more than 40 offices have been opened in various TVET colleges in different parts of the country.  This includes offices in six TVET colleges in this province: Boland College, College of Cape Town, False Bay College, Northlink College, South Cape College and West Coast College.

These SETA offices also serve as career guidance centres. We therefore want young people, particularly in depressed areas such as Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Gugulethu, to visit these SETA offices and seek career guidance.”  

In conclusion, Minister Nzimande said, “To you, students, I want to urge you to take career guidance very seriously. I hope I have demonstrated through my speech today that there are many programmes that the DHET is involved in to ensure that as the country’s youth, you become part of the post-school fraternity first and successfully seek employment thereafter.

This Career Expo is an opportunity for you to interact with various stakeholders who will be able to help you make the right career choice.”