Celebrating Youth Month in Copesville

2015-06-25 06:01
The deputy minister for Environmental Affairs Barbara Thomson visited Copesville last Friday.

PHOTO: SUPPLIED The deputy minister for Environmental Affairs Barbara Thomson visited Copesville last Friday.

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AS part of Youth Month, the deputy minister for Environmental Affairs, Barbara Thomson, led the Working on Fire (WOF) Youth Month celebration at Copesville sports field on Friday.

The Working on Fire and the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) started with 25 teams and only 850 beneficiaries in September in 2003. It has now increased its force to over 5000 personnel spread across 200 bases in all the nine provinces.

In her keynote address in Copesville, Thomson said the programme employs 31% females in its ranks of firefighters which is the highest level of female involvement in any similar firefighting service in the world.

In addition to the WOF programme, the department governs other programmes which contribute to establishing employment opportunities among the youth, such as working for water, working for wetlands, working for coasts and people and parks programmes.

“In addition, a large portion of these young beneficiaries have acquired various skills from these programmes and many have moved on to be permanently employed and today are continuing to make contributions within the environmental sectors.”

The DEA has contributed significantly towards creating work opportunities for young men and women in the country.

Currently more than 85% of the beneficiaries employed in the Working on Fire programme are in the age group of between 18 and 35

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