Eighty-seven unemployed Gauteng youths were given a window to the world of work on Friday September 21 when they attended a one-day orientation programme for an environmental learnership to be facilitated by the City of Joburg.
The successful candidates were selected for the year-long learnership, a brainchild of the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), from a total of 152 applicants. The programme, which seeks to attract young people to job opportunities in the environmental field, is offered in partnership with the Local Government Sector Education Training Authority (LGSETA).
The DEA’s move to fast-track skills development in the environmental sector is aimed at ensuring that South Africa is adequately prepared to respond to the challenges of climate change. The search for suitable candidates started in March when the DEA identified the City as an ideal partner to recruit the youth in Gauteng for the learnership.
Enoch Mafuyeka, the City’s Deputy Director: Organisational Capacitation, took the successful candidates through their paces on the first day of the induction programme. “It will take us a year to have the youth go through this learnership. After that, some of them will be absorbed into the City’s entities, including Pikitup, City Parks, Johannesburg Market, Infrastructural Services Department and Environment Health,” said Mafuyeka.
Zimasa Gaju (25) is one of the applicants who were accepted into a learnership. “I’m very happy to be here because I’m learning something new. Skills development is the way to go and I look forward to successfully completing the learnership and joining the world of work,” said Gaju.
Mukondi Masutha, of the City’s Environment and Infrastructure Services Department, emphasised the importance of young people working in the environmental sector. During the 12-month course, the youths will be exposed to a wide range of programmes to enrich their skills in spheres such as planning; supervision of operations; managing the collection, recording, maintenance and communication of data and information related to the environment; and developing and leading teams. On completion of the programme, the youths will be expected to take courses on cleaning, care and maintenance, and waste management-related activities.
In its GDS 2040 Strategy, the City commits itself to significantly reducing carbon monoxide emissions and minimising the dangers of climate change. It also says it will endeavour to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by improving public transport, reducing congestion and ensuring improved fuel efficiency and compliance with emissions standards.
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