Wednesday, 08 December 2021

Bloemfontein: The Premier of the Free State, Sisi Ntombela, launched a training programme funded by MERSETA, for out-of school youth in the province, yesterday; 07 December 2021.

The Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority (MERSETA), is one of the 21 Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) established to promote skills development in terms of the Skills Development Act.

This youth centred partnership will see a whooping R42 million investment into the province’s skills development project aimed at bridging the skills gap and responding to the demands of the economy.

This skills development programme will see over 650 beneficiaries undergo training in the following fields and environments:

  • One hundred (100) internships;
  • Fifty (50) Apprenticeships;
  • Recognition of Prior Learning for one hundred (100) young Artisans who have experience but do not have academic qualifications;
  • Fifty (50) Learnerships for New Venture establishment for young people interested in creating their own businesses in the sector;
  • Short skills programme in Welding and motor mechanic, for three hundred (300) learners;

Plagued by the escalating unemployment, particularly, amongst the youth and lack of economic growth, the investment by MERSETA will go a long way in addressing the skills shortage and the soaring levels of poverty, inequality and unemployment in our communities.

The Premier said that most importantly this programme will empower young people of the province and ready them to be role players in the economy.

The selection process of beneficiaries will be a very transparent one and municipalities will have a critical role to play in ensuring that people meet the set-out criteria. This will not be the best kept secret, but open and transparent.

“Skills Development remains one of the key priority areas with a potential to drive sustainable economic development. The Free State Provincial Government recognizes that there is a lot of untapped potential in the province which needs to be harnessed to fully blossom,” remarked Premier Ntombela.

” Government also appreciates the importance of providing the youth of our province with the necessary skills which will help them particularly in the job market. This training program therefore is very important.” said Premier Ntombela.

The Premier reiterated that, there would be bursaries for the upcoming year and that they would be awarded on merit only to Free Staters. Furthermore, she urged pupils to apply for NSFAS which is able to find much much more students.