Western Cape Premier Helen Zille prepares to deliver her last State of the Province Address. Armand Hough African News Agency(ANA)
Cape Town - Apprenticeship was an effective tool to tackle the huge unemployment rate among young people, according to Premier Helen Zille.

This was the premier’s core message at the 10th Premier Council of Skills held in Cape Town.

A large contingent of MECs, government departments, the education sector and business attended the event.

According to Zille, the council has over the past two years focused on supporting the Western Cape government’s Apprenticeship Game Changer, which aims to enable more young people to embark on training and apprenticeships in the priority sectors of tourism, agri-processing, oil and gas, renewable energy and water.

“Our biggest challenge is the lack of jobs for young people. One of the key roles of a capable state is to create a proper pipeline of skills to enable young people to have the skills that will grow the economy and fulfil investors needs. The Apprentice Game Changer was set up to build that pipeline.

“We are on target to meet our goal of 11300 qualified apprentices entering the workplace by 2019. This has only been possible through the collective efforts of the government, TVET colleges and of course business. We need to continue to work together to create more workplace-based training opportunities if we hope to reduce unemployment and meet the skills demands of our economy,” Zille said.

“At the G20 summit, apprenticeships are now a permanent agenda item. They put this on the agenda because it is not just critical to South Africa, but also globally. We are trying to establish a dynamic apprenticeship system that speaks to the realities of South Africa and will be embedded as part of our culture in this country,” Zille said.

Economic Opportunities MEC Beverley Schäfer said: “The Apprenticeship Game Changer provides a gateway for young people to gain experience, and builds their confidence.”

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