5 December 2011
South Africa will spend R129-million over the next three years training over 2 500 unemployed people in the fields of manufacturing and mining, Labour Minister Mildred Oliphant announced on Friday.
“I take pleasure to announce a commitment of R84-million to fund training which will be conducted by the Manufacturing and Related Sector Training Authority,” Oliphant said. “This funding through the Unemployment Insurance Fund will provide essential skills to at least 1 500 trainees over three years.”
Oliphant was speaking at a graduation ceremony of 176 students who received training in boiler making, fitting and turning and other skills.
Oliphant said the funding indicated the government’s commitment to skills development, and that it was aligned to job creation in the country’s manufacturing sector.
She further announced that government would provide funding to the Mining Qualification Authority to train 1 000 candidates over a period of three years.
“Both agreements indicate a grand total of R129 million – a huge investment in skills development,” she said.
Training unemployed workers
The funding agreements follow the successful completion of courses that Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) beneficiaries undertake under the country’s Training of the Unemployed Scheme, which was launched in 2009.
The Training of the Unemployed Scheme was launched at the height of the global economic recession, which saw multitudes of South Africans losing their jobs.
Oliphant challenged the graduates to become employment creators and not just employees.
“The country needs entrepreneurs … The skills that you possess will also enable you to be employers,” she said, adding that other government departments, such as the Department of Trade and Industry, had funds to assist start-up businesses.