Youth given hope for open doors

2015-06-23 06:00
Youths from different areas gathered at Kensington civic centre last week to hear more about job opportunities.

Sashika Pillay

Youths from different areas gathered at Kensington civic centre last week to hear more about job opportunities. PHOTO: Sashika Pillay

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Valentino Fischer (18) from Kensington is one of many youngsters struggling to get employment.

Staying with his grandmother, who is a pensioner, and 10 other family members, they all depend on one person who works.

Besides being a dependent himself, he has a one-year-old child who is looking up to him for food and other things.

Fischer dropped out of school in Grade 9 three years ago and since then his life has not been smooth sailing – not to mention the challenges he is facing to get a job.

His wish is to find work and help his family. Above all, he wants to be a father to his son and provide for him.

In his quest for a better life, he was one of many jobseekers who came out on Wednesday last week to hear about the opportunities that await them if they manage to knock at the right doors.

Acha Silver Lining with various stakeholders, like Kenfac Ratepayers and Residents’ Association, organised the informative event at the Kensington civic centre for those who are unemployed.

More than 300 youngsters from Kensington, Factrecton, Maitland and Garden Village who attended were helped to add their CVs to the City of Cape Town database to get on the waiting list for employment.

The organisers hoped to show the opportunities that are out there. Those who attended the event were told about the City’s expanded public works programme and Northlink College told them about the courses. They were also helped with basic computer skills.

Mariam Oliver, secretary for Kenfac Ratepayers’ Association, says the event was much needed.

“Most people just don’t know what to do. They are sitting there at home so depressed and they don’t know where to turn to. If you ask them ‘What job do you want to do?’ they just say anything as they want to work and get away from being so dependent. They don’t have a lot of information, that’s why we decided to invite the people to help them get jobs or at least put them in the right direction to make it easy for them to find jobs or for some to carry on with their studies.

“Unemployment is such a crisis and we don’t want those that are not employed to sit there and be stressed out, because there are people that can help.

“We have no doubt that the information that was passed on to them will really unlock a lot of opportunities for them, because they are young people with a lot of potential. They just need to be steered in the right direction,” she says.

Fischer is happy he attended the event. “With the information that we have here I’m hopeful that if I get out there I can get something to do. I want to help my family. Things are not easy, I have to work,” he says.

Another attendee, Nabeelah Cloete (17), says she is happy that there is hope.

“It shows there are people who care about us and they want to see us succeed. It’s nice that we got people to tell us about the career opportunities that we have and where to go to get help,” she says.

Ronald Greenstyle, a skills developer, says most of the people who attended didn’t know about learnership programmes.

“There are learnership and skills programmes. This was a good start for most people. We had to help them, because most people lack information, yet there are opportunities awaiting them. They just have to get out there and access them. We are glad that we could give them the right information,” he said at the event

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