South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies has urged the government to focus on skills development because its critical to the economy and is non negotiable.
He said this will at the launch of Lesedi Skills Development Academy in Atlantis, Western Cape, that was established to address the need for skilled artisans and to close the skills gap in the nuclear and broader energy sector as well as associated industries.
Minister Davies said it was increasingly evident that as a requirement to get any industrial job one needed to have skills. He said at all levels of employment one now requires to be skilled. Government is aware that skills development in the past was limited to the minority and the majority of the people had less access, yet it is a critical requirement for the majority to get jobs.
“This is the reason why every time we engage with business we insist on skills development which is a non-negotiable for all. To underpin the importance of skills development government launched the Youth Empowerment Service Programme. This programme aims to improve the grim employment outlook for young job seekers by offering work opportunities and therefore inclusion in the economy,” added Davies.
He indicated that Business agreed to partner and create 300 000 internships per year for the unemployed youth for the next three years.
“Every bit counts as a means to address the issue of skills development and unemployment. We therefore cannot compromise if we need more people to participate meaningfully in the economy. The skills that the academy develops will assist the Atlantis people to tap into the proposed Atlantis Special Economic Zone amongst others. The zone is anticipated to be designated by the end of 2018,” concluded Davies.
The Chief Executive Officer of Lesedi Nuclear Services, Mr Francis Carruther said the to date, the academy has been utilized for the sole requirement of Lesedi Nuclear Services and have employed 35 learners whom are at various stages of training within their respective programme. He added 33 of these learners are from Atlantis.
Lesedi was established in 2015 to address challenges in providing skilled artisans with appropriate training and qualifications to meet the ability to execute projects. The learners engaged with apprenticeship, learnerships and short skills programs. The learners are adequately equipped not only as skilled artisans but instilled with the highest levels of Occupational Health Safety and Environmental; Technical Knowledge and Skills; Human Performance Tools and Foreign Material Exclusion-elements not conventional artisan training programme.
Caption: Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Rob Davies launches the Lesedi Skills Development Academy in Atlantis, Western Cape.