IT is no secret that unemployment figures are extremely high in the Eastern Cape, with recent studies placing youth unemployment in our province at well over 40%.
While radical efforts to make tertiary studies fees more accessible were made in 2015, it is a reality that many graduates of the Class of 2015 will not have the privilege to study further this year – entering the flooded job market.
It is important for these and other youths who are lucky enough to obtain a tertiary education, to upskill themselves further by applying for learnerships and other vocational training programmes to make them more prepared for the challenges and needs of the workplace.
In Nelson Mandela Bay specifically youths should steer their career paths in the direction of our Industrial Development Strategy which encompasses the Automotive, Light Manufacturing, Agro-Processing and Tourism Hospitably industries as priority sectors. Other supportive sectors where the youth should equip themselves with suitable vocational skills include the Pharmaceutical, Maritime and Petro-Chemical sectors.
We welcome the recent announcement that the provincial government will make R20-million available for skills funding at Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA)’s Uitenhage plant. Similar skills development and training programmes are also underway in the rest of the province’s automotive sector and we look forward to the diversification of these skills development programmes to other sectors of the Eastern Cape economy.
Congratulations to the Class of 2015 and all the best for building successful careers in Nelson Mandela Bay.