Youth and Skills
The KZN Youth Development Academies currently offer the following courses:
- Brick laying
- Garment making
- Basic computers
- SMME Development
- Learners & Driver’s licenses
- Beauty Therapy
The above courses are facilitated by uMfolozi TVET College, and in the case of learners and driver’s licenses, by an accredited service provider. To date more or less 400 young people have graduated from the Youth Development Academies.
Provincialisation of Youth Development Academies
Following the first intake and subsequent launch of the academy by the then Premier of KwaZulu-Natal, Dr Z.L Mkhize, substantial progress has been made towards building effective partnerships aimed at empowering youth with a range of much-needed skills to enable them to unleash their potential to deal with their everyday challenges.
The MEC for Social Development, Mrs Weziwe Thusi, has subsequently pronounced the Department’s intention to provincialise the Youth Development Academies so as to ensure that the doors of the existing academies are open to youth from across the province and not only restricted to those districts in which the academies exist.
Youth development centers
During the 2012/2013 financial year the Department of Social Development committed itself to investing in programmes aimed at empowering the youth to ensure its participation in the mainstream economy in order to avoid social disorder. The department also noted the high rate of unemployment, lack of access to education and other social ills faced by the youth which are the indications that government should be doing more towards youth empowerment. According to the National Youth Policy, the youth that should be receiving immediate attention consist of young women, youth with disabilities, unemployed and out of school youth, youth in rural areas and deprived wards, youth at risk of being subjected to all forms of abuse, youth heading households, youth in conflict with the law and youth abusing dependency-creating substances.
In light of the above, during 2013/14 financial year, the Department of Social Development intensified the implementation of youth development initiatives in an effort of ensuring that young people are brought back to the economic mainstream. The department went about to achieve this by, amongst other things, establishing Youth Development Centres, referring to a physical structure wherein young people have access to a variety of services aimed at empowering young people to become active and responsible citizens.
To this end, the department defined a Youth Development Centre, first and foremost, as a place that “empowers the youthful generation to have ownership of their development process and thus becoming agents of transformation in the Province.” Operationally, the Youth Development Centres focus on improving the livelihoods of youth in the Province through the provisioning of “youth empowering services” such as employment training, counselling, recreation and cultural activities and act as a safe place for youth and other stakeholders to network.
It’s a safe space wherein young people of all categories, school going, and students in institutions of higher learning, out of school youth, working youth and unemployed youth, access relevant up to date information and skills required to assist them respond to challenges they are faced with. These centres serve as hubs where young people can come together to access the following services:
- Computers with internet
- Career Counselling (mainstream employment and self-employment)
- Career guidance workshops
- Vocational Education Training
- Likeskills workshops
- Entrepreneurship workshops
- Basic Computer Literacy Trainings
- Access to Information
- Linking of young people to exit opportunities
The Youth Development Centres are not limited to the above mentioned services, but are further guided by the immediate needs of the young people residing nearby where the Centres are established.
To date, the department has established four youth centres across the Province as follows, which are:
- KwaDambuza Youth Development Centre, situated in uMgungundlovu District, under uMsunduzi Municipality
- Mamba Youth Development Centre, situated in uThungulu District, under uMlalazi Municipality
- Johnny Makhathini Youth Centre (in partnership with Ethekwini Municipality), situated in Lamontville
- Sonkombo Youth Development Centre (in partnership with Ndwedwe Municipality), under Ndwedwe Municipality
During the 2015/2016 financial year, the department intends to establish an additional Youth Centre, in uGu District, in partnership with Vulamehlo Municipality.
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