More jobs need to be created – Motlanthe

2013-04-19 08:59

More jobs need to be created to ensure that the total number of South Africans employed is significantly increased, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe has said.

“The benefits will reach many more people through sustainable, decent work opportunities and in this we will avoid youth employment schemes that simply displace older workers.”

Motlanthe was speaking at the launch of the accord on youth employment at the Hector Pieterson Square in Soweto yesterday.

“I want to stress the urgency with which we need to carry out this task. We have agreed that a comprehensive strategy is necessary to achieve this.

“Such a strategy will require that the structural challenges in the economy are addressed, including poor skills, weak infrastructure, monopolies and cartels and lack of partnerships at workplace level.”

These are the six commitments from government in the youth employment accord:

» Education and training – improve education and training opportunities for the gap grouping between school-leaving and first employment;

» Work exposure – connect young people with employment opportunities through support for job placement schemes and work-readiness promotion programmes

» Strengthen measures that increase the number of young people employed in the public sector through coordinating and scaling up existing programmes under a youth brigade programme coordinated with industries

» Clear targets for new jobs in areas such as infrastructure, the business process services sector and the green economy, particularly the manufacture, installation and maintenance of solar water heaters

» Youth entrepreneurship and youth cooperatives – public agencies such as Small Enterprise Finance Agency, Small Enterprise Development Agency and the Jobs Fund will be encouraged to develop and strengthen dedicated programmes of support for youth enterprises and youth co-operations

» Develop private-sector measures to expand the intake of young people, with targeted youth support and incentives approved by all constituencies.

Motlanthe said: “We wish to complete all the preparatory work so that programmes can be announced between today and June this year, which is national youth month.”

He said the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) has agreed to set aside R1 billion to make low-interest rate loans available to youth-owned or youth-focused enterprises over the next three years.

The IDC would also provide technical support to young people to assist in accessing these funds and will refer them to other support available in the state.

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