South Africa News

Minister Nxesi launches skills training programme to tackle unemployment

Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi says the government has a major role to play in mitigating unemployment in the country.

Nxesi on Saturday launched the Labour Activation Programme – which he described as a mass skills training programme that is part of a joint project with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Gauteng government.

Speaking at the launch at the Nasrec Expo Centre in south Joburg, Nxesi pinned his hopes on it being the gateway for some of the country’s youth entrepreneurs.

Nxesi explained that the programme will afford UIF beneficiaries and unemployed youth an opportunity to be integrated into the labour market or start their own businesses.

The R23.8 billion project is set to provide opportunities that will run for a period of 12 to 36 months.

The money invested in the plan will be recouped by the UIF through contributions and revenue generated from investments, as has been the sustainability model of the fund.

The project is set to be rolled out in stages, first being piloted in Gauteng before being rolled out to other provinces. The last roll-out of the LAP project is set to take place in the Northern Cape in early May.

Nxesi rubbished claims that this is an election tactic by the African National Congress (ANC).

“Before and after the elections, the programme will continue because we are dealing with massive unemployment in the country.”

Last year, the provincial government launched Nasi iSpani – the brainchild of Gauteng premier Panyaza Lesufi that has employed over 40,000 young people since its inception.

Government’s latest bid to address the unemployment crisis comes at a time when over 32% of South Africans are jobless, with the youth accounting for a large portion of this staggering figure.

-EWN

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