Joburg Mayor opens the way to youth opportunities
In a ground-breaking move, Johannesburg Executive Mayor Councillor Parks today announced a major initiative to unlock the potential of youth who are not in employment, education or training.
Delivering his State of the City Address at the Metro Centre in Braamfontein, Mayor Tau announced the rollout of Vulindlel' eJozi, which he described as an "innovative response to the massive problem of youth unemployment".
The programme, which follows the approval of a partnership between the City of Johannesburg and Harambee Youth Accelerator, a youth development social enterprise forged by the private sector, for one year, is expected to break down barriers to opportunities for an estimated 200 000 young people in the city by 2016.
There is an estimated one million young people in Johannesburg who are not economically active, or in education or training.
The Mayor said Vulindlel' eJozi, isiZulu for "open the way in Johannesburg", would enable the youth to enter work, education and training environments as well improve their economic participation potential step by step".
"This programme will begin with screening, assessment and advisory services for all candidates. This will extend into foundation literacy, numeracy and digital literacy for all who participate to raise their earning potential.
"This programme will then identify and create opportunities for young people based on their aptitudes and capabilities. These will include formal employment in companies of all sizes, public works programmes, national youth service programmes and micro-enterprise development channels such as Jozi@Work," Mayor Tau said.
He said Vulindlel' eJozi would also facilitate the placement of appropriate candidates in training and educational programmes.
"This builds on the work done throughout this term to develop channels for economic inclusion, both in terms of employment and SMME access. These find specific expression in our 10 Integrated Development Plan (IDP) priorities, but are also based on the commitment to job-intensive growth the City has made as part of the Joburg 2040 Vision," he said.
Over and above the new initiative, the Mayor announced that the City had entered into a new partnership with the University of Johannesburg to enable groups of young people to access the City's Digital Ambassador Programme.
"Over the coming months, as we accelerate the rollout of our free public Wi-Fi hotspots announced last year, we will deploy 3 000 young people, grouped as micro-companies, to provide digital literacy training. This is the bridge we are building across the digital divide," he said.