City paves the way to youth opportunities
Barriers hindering young people from entering the jobs market and accessing opportunities are being broken down in Johannesburg.
At Museum Africa in Newtown yesterday – on the first day of this year's Youth Month – Johannesburg Executive Mayor Clr Parks Tau launched the Vulindlel' eJozi Programme, an innovative youth employment accelerator aimed at breaking down barriers to opportunities for at least 200 000 "disengaged youths" in the city by 2016.
The programme, a partnership between the City and Harambee Youth Accelerator, a private sector initiative, was first announced by the Executive Mayor in his State of the City Address on May 6.
Yesterday Mayor Tau said the initiative was launched on the first day of June, Youth Month, to highlight the importance of the youth to the city's economy and its future.
"As a City, we felt it important to begin Youth Month by clarifying and cementing our commitment made to the youth during the State of the City Address.
Vulindlel' eJozi is a call to action to all youth to enable their generation to shape future society," Mayor Tau said. He said Vulindlel' eJozi, which means "open the way in Johannesburg" in isiZulu, would swing into full operation on June 16 as part of this year's celebrations of National Youth Day.
Mayor Tau said with more than 800 000 unemployed youths in Johannesburg, the success of Vulindlel' eJozi would be linked to the determination of youths involved.
He said about R150 million had been budgeted for the programme in the 2015-2016 financial year.
Harambee Executive Director Tamera Campbell said the partnership with the City through Vulindlel' eJozi would not only look at work placements for the youth but also at tackling other entry barriers such as work readiness and foundation numeracy, literacy and digital literacy levels by providing training.
Through Vulindlel' eJozi, young people will also be able to access learnerships and apprenticeship opportunities to improve their permanent employment eligibility and raise earning potential.
"This programme is a 'hand-up' and not a handout. It is important for young people to understand that these opportunities are for them to improve themselves in order to access better opportunities of permanent employment.
"Through this partnership with the City, Vulindlel' eJozi is going to break down barriers to meaningful employment opportunities at no cost to the youth being empowered," said Campbell.
The programme will identify and create opportunities for registered young people based on their aptitudes and capabilities.
The programme is expected to include employment in companies of all sizes as well as in extended public works programmes, national youth service programmes and micro-enterprise development channels such as Jozi@Work.
The programme will also facilitate the placement of appropriate candidates in training and education programmes.
Youths interested in participating in the Vulindlel' eJozi programme can register online at http://vulindleljozi.mobi from June 16. Those without internet access can do so at regional community centres. They can also access the mobi site from various City libraries and free City Wi-Fi hotspots.
Harambee "Feet on the Street" teams will also undertake several registration drives in informal and under-serviced areas.