MINISTER ALBERT FRITZ
WESTERN CAPE MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
180 Young girls from all over the province arrived all bright eyed and bushy tailed for the start of the 3-month youth development programme at the Chrysalis Academy in Tokai yesterday morning.
The programme is geared not only to address the softer life skills like confidence, assertiveness, discipline, teamwork, etc, but also includes vocational skills, like office administration, call centre training, home-based care and fire-fighting. They will also receive first-aid training, as well as assistance with obtaining a learner’s license.
I stressed this government’s commitment to increasing job opportunities for young people, and through this programme, we have managed to extend internships and full-time employment to hundreds of young people who have gone before them. They too, will have access to job opportunities both within government, and with our NGO partners. NGOs can offer incredible work experience to young people, and I will ensure that we pay for their stipends. This is over and above the existing funding to NGOs.
It was encouraging to see the parental and family support for many of the girls. We will build on this, with a set of workshops for parents, to enable them to better support and understand their children. While the instructors will be developing the girls to their full potential, we want to use these workshops to ensure the family also develops as a whole unit.
The academy received more than 500 applications, but can only accommodate 180 students per course. They are therefore privileged to have been selected and I encouraged them to grab this opportunity with both hands, as there are many others, who were not as fortunate.
I saw some worried faces when they heard that their morning starts at 04h30 with a physical exercise routine, but the three hearty meals per day seemed to bring on some smiles.
As a government we will continue rolling out initiatives to develop our young people, give them opportunities, and make their lives better together.