Unemployment is one of the major ills plaguing South Africa. This is partly the result of a lack of skills among the working age population, those who can actively contribute to the country’s economy.
This prompted GetOn Skills Development to take action and provide skill-specific and market-related training to ambitious and promising young individuals in Pretoria West and its surrounding areas.
The organisation gives young people a chance to realise their potential. Yet it also aims to develop its protégées socially and emotionally in order for them to lead happy and productive lives as independent and self-supporting adults.
South Africa’s unemployment rate sits at 25.5% among the working age population, according to data released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) for the third quarter of 2015, the latest available data. This shockingly high figure highlights the need for more measures to be taken to empower unemployed citizens.
The unemployment rate has risen steadily in recent years, posing a potent threat to the wellbeing of the country as a whole, with individuals living in rural and informal settlements bearing the brunt.
This makes creating jobs a key challenge that has to be addressed, with a firm eye trained on alleviating the pressure on youth. It also ties in neatly with the aims of the National Development Plan, which sets out to achieve a crucial reduction in the unemployment rate from 25% to 6% by the year 2030.
“Why this is so real for me is because on a monthly basis we get new students coming in to GetOn and I see a lot of these students shrinking with the burdens and a lot of stress,” said Brenton Cryer, the general manager of the GetOn Skills Development Centre.
“When I look at them I smile because I know that after a few weeks they’re standing up tall, confident and ready to take on the world, and that’s really where I see GetOn making a lot of change in people’s lives, through the life skills [we provide].”
PARTNERS FOR CHANGE
The GetOn Skills Development Centre was set up by the GetOn Foundation, a Dutch non-profit organisation working to empower developing countries and close the gap between them and their developed counterparts.
Projects developed by the GetOn Foundation are created with the intention for them to become self-sustaining and to enrich their targeted communities.
The organisation is partnered with a number of groups whose goals are aligned with its goals, such as Learn to Earn and the Mr Price Foundation, both aimed at developing youth from disenfranchised communities and helping them to break into the job market.
“It was a challenging time in my life when I came here [to GetOn]” says former GetOn trainee Thabo Mokhonoana. “I was unemployed and discouraged at not knowing which direction I should take in my life.
“I’m glad that when I came here GetOn opened its arms to me and it embraced me like a son. I’m glad to say that today I’m working. It has been six months that I have been working and I have seen a lot of progress in my life financially.”
Like many of the GetOn graduates, Mokhonoana aspires to open his own business at some point in the near future and make full use of the skills he has acquired.
“I’d love to open my own business because GetOn gives us skills so we can start businesses. It doesn’t just give us skills so that we can work for people, but it gives us skills so that we can be empowered to go out there and make a difference.”
GETON AND GET INVOLVED
GetOn offers a number of options to those looking to contribute to bringing about the change the organisation is working towards.
These options include campaigning for the organisation, raising funds, donations to ensure the longevity of the programme as well as getting directly involved in the day-to-day happenings at the GetOn centre.
For more information on how you can get involved, visit GetOn’s get involved page.
PLAY YOUR PART
Are you playing your part in transforming South Africa? If so, submit your story or video and let us know what you are doing to improve the country for all.