Picture: Matthews Baloyi/African News Agency (ANA)
CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Saturday urged companies to join the Youth Employment Service initiative which held mutual benefits for the youth and the companies themselves.

The greatest challenge to social development in South Africa - and to economic development - was the high rate of youth unemployment, he said at a Volvo Trucks youth development event at the Volvo assembly plant in Amanzimtoti. He applauded Volvo for making youth development such an integral part of its social investment programme. 

“We all share a responsibility to develop the skills of young South Africans and ensure that these skills are suited to the needs of our economy. This means that the basic education system needs to retain more learners through to matric and to improve the quality of the education they receive. It means that we need to ensure greater access to universities and colleges for the children of the poor and working class. The phased introduction of free higher education from this year promises to contribute to a skills revolution in this country,” he said. 

This needed to be accompanied by a concerted effort to involve the private sector in supporting and designing curricula, particularly at technical vocational education and training colleges. It was necessary to ensure that these institutions produced the kind of skills needed in the economy and that students had opportunities to work in these environments during the course of their study, Ramaphosa said.

 - African News Agency