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Unemployed youth given a hand-up through Gabs artisan development programme

Young Capetonians are undergoing an apprenticeship programme through the Department of Economic Development and Tourism at Golden Arrow Bus Services. Picture: Supplied.

Young Capetonians are undergoing an apprenticeship programme through the Department of Economic Development and Tourism at Golden Arrow Bus Services. Picture: Supplied.

Published Jun 27, 2022

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Cape Town - Forty-three young Capetonians are undergoing an apprenticeship programme through the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT), which runs an artisan development programme affording opportunities for experiential learning at the Golden Arrow Bus Services (Gabs).

The initiative awarded to unemployed youth provides youngsters with the opportunity to learn at the GABS depot and workshop, providing young people with valuable work experience in jobs requiring artisanal and technical skills.

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Finance and Economic Opportunities MEC Mireille Wenger said the programme highlighted one of the department’s top priorities, to create economic opportunities for young people in the province by creating the right conditions for economic growth and job creation.

“We are working hard through our skills development programme to create more opportunities for young people to get the right qualifications, skills and experience for jobs available now and in the future.

“One of my priorities is to invest in local talent through targeted skills programmes so that they can leverage the opportunities that the private sector creates.”

DEDAT provides monthly stipends to all its apprentices, 37 of who are in five different trades in Gabs, including vehicle body builder, fitter and turner, spray painter, auto electrician and diesel mechanic. The other six apprentices are bus driver learners.

“What struck me in my discussions with the learners was the hope, confidence and optimism each young person had found from this experiential work-placement opportunity,” Wenger said.

“The partnership between DEDAT and Gabs is a perfect example of how, when we work together, to make a difference in the lives of young people who have not been able to find work opportunities,” Wenger said.

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Diesel mechanic apprentice Noxolo Tyatya said: “After writing exams for my N5 and struggling with two subjects, I could not find an apprenticeship. This opportunity has given me a purpose and faith that my life can be much better and that I can become a qualified artisan.”

Learner bus driver Agrippa Tafa said: “Before Golden Arrow, I was a stay-at-home dad, and it was difficult because I wanted to provide for my family. This opportunity gives me hope, and I’m slowly turning into the man I want to be.”

Auto electrician apprentice Asiphe Faltenjwa said: “This opportunity has changed my life because I can help my mother and provide for myself.”

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Learner bus driver Anathi Maninjwa said: “Before starting the apprenticeship, I was overwhelmed and frustrated. I felt like I could not take control of my life. Now I can help my family and buy things for myself without having to ask anyone to help me. I feel so responsible and independent.”

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Cape Argus

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