Skills development empowers rural youth

The department of rural development and land reform held the national rural service corps (Narysec) programme exit workshop for participants who have completed training at Victoria Manor recently.

Director Mandayi Rala said the 24-month skills development programme which was introduced in 2010, targets unemployed rural youth aged between 18 and 25 from various areas. “The programme is in partnership with the department of defence and the students are taught leadership skills, discipline and patriotism. During the 24 months we have dedicated 12 months in which we send the students to various FET colleges to be trained in different courses accredited by Seta. Today we have a group of students who have been trained in business management and others were trained in facilitation, occupational health and safety and IT related courses. This group completed their training last year and the session is known as an ‘exit workshop’ where we grill them. The department’s objective is to make sure they are ready for employment. We also encourage them to establish their own businesses and further their studies.”

Rala said 97 students from around the province had participated in the session, with contributions made by the national youth development agency, Seda, Lulaway recruitment agency and Ikhala College.

“This is an exciting programme because some of them have already managed to establish their own businesses and got job opportunities. Before their induction, we analyse the economic activities in the province. We are currently working on the recruitment process for 150 students who will be recruited and contracted for a two year period.”

He added that the department recruits twice a year, in March and in July, provided there is funding. “Our aim is to try and get the students employed, but we cannot do it alone and have to work with various stakeholders for them to get opportunities. There are a lot of students who have been retained by their host employers and we are very proud about that.”

Wendy Phanyana from Lady Frere whose aspiration is to open an internet cafe in the rural areas, praised the programme for providing a platform that seeks to transform the unemployment status among the youth. “I started the programme in 2016. As a business-minded person I have benefited a lot from this workshop and now I know which doors to knock on in terms of starting my own business. My idea is to provide internet services in rural areas because such information is not accessible and it is difficult for young people to know about job opportunities, including drafting their own CVs.”

She said with a group of four other co-op members they were slowly making this dream a reality by providing basic computer lessons under their registered business, Technoland Internet Cafe.

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