The National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in partnership with the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality in the North West Province, today launched a YouthBuild programme involving 100 unemployed rural youth from Taung and surrounding villages who are being trained in plumbing and welding.
“This programme is another example of the real work carried out by the NYDA in rural areas with life-changing impact for the participants. As the NYDA, there is nothing more fulfilling than witnessing young people involved in building a better South Africa for all. Our YouthBuild volunteers are embarking on possibly one of the greatest skills transfer programmes of their lives for what they are about to learn is practical, real-world expertise. This programme represents the very first of its kind in this community,” says Yershen Pillay, NYDA Executive Chairperson.
The project, which the NYDA has contributed over R1.9 million towards, involves unemployed young people who are becoming prone to risky behaviours due to being out of school and unemployed. The youth will commence short skills development training using the YouthBuild programme model to learn technical skills that they can use to empower themselves and generate income for themselves and their families.
According to volunteer, Victoria Mohale from Leshobo Village, 15 kms from Taung, “I joined the NYDA YouthBuild programme to learn the plumbing trade, which I was first exposed to in primary school where artisan training was part of our curriculum. I have already started a plumbing cooperative with other young people from my community so when I heard about the YouthBuild programme in Taung I knew I had to be a part of it.”
Mohale completed matric in 2011 and has been unemployed since then but has been keeping busy with various volunteer opportunities to gain work experience and skills.
The training identified for the project will be an accredited construction skills programme at NQF level 3 and it will be in the plumbing and welding trades as identified by the Municipality. The programme is part of the Building and Civil Engineering Qualification approved by the Construction SETA.
According to Pillay, “The YouthBuild project is a comprehensive programme that integrates academic achievement, work experience, social action, leadership development, and personal transformation in a single project. We have witnessed all of the above being imparted to previous YouthBuild participants in communities around the country with life changing effects and are confident that the same results will be delivered in the North West.”
During 2014 alone, a total of 2 342 young people participated in structured YouthBuild programmes implemented by the NYDA in partnership with various other stakeholders such as the Department of Human Settlements and Extended Public Works Programme. Furthermore, 198 886 youth have involved in YouthBuild programmes nationally, since the inception of the NYDA. Additional to this, a total of 12 490 young people were enrolled in various National Youth Service volunteer programmes around the country during 2014 alone.