One of example of this is Tshepo 500 000, a flagship programme focusing on creating opportunities for half a million young people to enter the labour market and access skills and entrepreneurial development.
Another partnership that will be implemented by government over the next two years is a partnership with Microsoft, which will provide one million young people with training opportunities in digital skills.
In partnership with the Massive Open Online Varsity (MOOV), an additional 80 000 young people will access free, high quality online university education.
The provincial government will also partner with the Business Process Outsourcing Sector to facilitate the creation of 20 000 digital jobs for young people over the next three years.
Others include a partnership with Buddibox and the National Youth Development Agency, which will provide 10 000 ownership and entrepreneurial opportunities in the cooperative wholesale and retail sector. A partnership with Coca Cola will provide employment and new entrepreneurship opportunities for 30 000 new retail outlets in the townships for youth.
These partnerships were announced by Gauteng Premier David Makhura when he delivered his State of the Province Address on Monday.
Another programme targeting youth is the National Youth Service, which will increase the number of opportunities for young people in the EPWP and Community Works Programme to 300 000.
“We are launching Gauteng@Work, targeting especially young people who will be contracted by government and also sub-contracted by companies doing business with government to do infrastructure maintenance and other work in public facilities,” Premier Makhura said.
In addition to all of this, the provincial government has adopted a policy that 50% of all people employed in infrastructure projects are young people.
The focus on youth in the province is imperative as youth unemployment is the “most acute and primary economic problem of our time”, according to the Premier.
“Currently, there are 2.7 million young people of working age who are neither in education nor in employment, while around three million young people are in the public and private education system, including higher education and TVET colleges.
“Many of these young people end up getting involved in social ills such as drug and substance abuse as well as crime. They deserve a second chance in life.”
To address the issue, the provincial government introduced Tshepo 500 000 in 2014 to enhance the employability of youth and ignite the spirit of entrepreneurship among young people in order to rescue them from a self-destructive lifestyle of drug abuse, violence and crime.
Over the past two years, Tshepo 500 000 has touched the lives of more than 350 000 young people, who benefitted from the four pillars of this programme.
More than 90 000 permanent jobs were facilitated. Training and skills development were provided for more than 145 000 young people, while 15 000 youths received entrepreneurship and business development support and 110 000 received transitional employment.
“The major lesson we learnt since the launch of Tshepo 500 000 in December 2014, is that to deal with the chronic global problem of youth unemployment successfully, we must embark on unconventional approaches and build sector-specific partnerships,” said Premier Makhura.
Working with partners such as Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and various private sector companies, Premier Makhura is certain that they will reach 500 000 young people by 2019.
He called on businesses, civil society and municipalities to join the crusade to give youth a chance to prove themselves.
“They don’t want patronage. They want to be empowered so that they can take charge of their own destiny and become their own liberators. They want opportunities to be opened so that they can seize them with both hands.”