Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant
DURBAN - The Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) has set aside R15million for 460 unemployed youths and UIF beneficiaries in Nongoma and Denny Dalton, KwaZulu-Natal, to undergo training programmes that will equip them with skills and qualifications to compete for jobs or venture into business.

The announcement was made in Nongoma last week during the official launch of the training programmes.

The UIF, through its Labour Activation Programmes (LAP) unit, has signed partnership agreements with Mhlathuze Water; the Construction Seta; uMfolozi TVET College; the Media, Information and Communication Technologies Seta; and the Services Seta, for the recruited learners to participate in learnership programmes.

The training will focus on skills including construction, welding, freight handling, business administration, poultry farming, plant production, community health and sanitation.

The learnerships will comprise theory and practical training and learners will receive a R2000 monthly stipend. The state-owned entities that partnered with the UIF to do the training have already engaged possible employers, including municipalities, for possible employment or projects that the learners could work on upon completion of their learnerships. Recruitment for the projects is already under way and learners will start training soon.

Speaking at the launch, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant said her department and its entities had a duty to contribute towards preserving jobs, employment creation and enabling entrepreneurship, especially for the youth and former UIF contributors who had lost their jobs. She said the UIF’s LAP unit was critical for alleviating the devastating effects of retrenchments and job losses. Oliphant added that the launch was a response to dealing with the high levels of unemployment and was meant to help boost the economy.

“The aim of these training projects is to assist the youth and former UIF contributors in these towns (Nongoma and Denny Dalton) with skills that will enable them to compete for jobs in the labour market,” Oliphant said.

THE MERCURY