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Gauteng explores economic opportunities for youths

13th June 2012

By: SA News

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The Gauteng Provincial Government is to earnestly start taking advantage of its status as the "smart province" by embarking on innovative ways to reduce unemployment among young people, it reports.

Addressing provincial lawmakers while presenting her department Budget Vote on Tuesday, Premier Nomvula Mokonyane said her government will this year do more to inform young people of the economic opportunities available to them in the province.

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"You cannot communicate with the young and technology-savvy young people without engaging with social media platforms. The Office of the Premier is now active on Twitter and Facebook – where we are getting a lot of feedback from our communities on how to better serve them," Mokonyane said.

Moreover, the provincial government will be rolling-out Phase 2 of the e-Recruitment model, which includes electronic short-listing, SMS notifications, report generation, an advertisement library, and an electronic and searchable database.

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However, those who cannot afford to access information online need not despair; the province will also engage with young people through youth consultations in all five metro and district areas.

Mokonyane highlighted that youth unemployment levels in the province remained an areas of concern and the province.

"In the coming months, we will deal with this problem through the roll-out of Economic Opportunities Roadshow and programmes at the Youth Employment Hubs with the aim of unlocking opportunities for the young and unemployed," she said.

Mokonyane said other media platforms such as Gauteng News, will be utilised to popularise government programmes aimed at informing young people of these opportunities.

"We will also ensure that we increase our communities' participation in government programmes and plans by intensifying our Open Days at our Thusong Service Centres across the province," she said.

These interventions will assist the province communicate on programmes such as the Youth Entrepreneurship Development Programme (Y-AGE) which was launched in October last year. The Y-AGE programme seeks to recruit, select, train and fund new ventures in the economy to create between two and 15 jobs to make up one million jobs in three years.

The Department of Economic Development would also work with the private sector to facilitate job creation, finance BEE, tourism and small business development.

According to Economic Development MEC, Qedani Mahlangu, her department, with the University of Johannesburg, is working with a Swiss company, Watches of Switzerland, to establish a school that will offer training in designing watches.

Plans are already in place to send a group of young people to Italy in September to acquire jewellery manufacturing skills. This programme is linked to the jewellery manufacturing precinct that will be based at OR Tambo International Airport.

To assist the youth apply for jobs in government. The province has also launched the Professional Job Centre at the Thusong Centre located inside the Maponya Mall in Soweto. This facility brings government recruitment closer to where people are resident, and in a retail complex that is frequented by thousands on a monthly basis.

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