“It’s cool to be a 21st Century Artisan”.
The Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA), honourable Des Van Rooyen today (27 June 2017) handed over protective clothing and tools of trade to sixty-one (61) apprentices at the Vuselela TVET College in Klerksdorp, Dr KK Kaunda District Municipality in Bokone Bophirima Province.
This important event is part of a month long activities that commemorates and celebrates the 41st anniversary of the Soweto Uprising. The speakers at the event called on government (Municipalities, Provinces, National departments, other government enterprises) and the private sector to play their part in empowering the youth by imparting skills to them. Speaking at the event today, Minister van Rooyen urged all stakeholders to prioritise and promote youth development by ensuring that they are empowered to take part in the economy of the country.
The establishment of Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA), in 2012 was an important milestone in youth development. In line with this mandate, MISA provides technical support and strengthen the capacity of municipalities to exercise their powers and perform their functions. The MISA mandate also focuses on technical support with regard to infrastructure planning, delivery, operation and maintenance. To realise this important goals, MISA is recruiting and training youth who would provide municipalities with infrastructure support.
Guided by the plans of government, some of which prioritises improving education and creating decent work speaks to the investment by MISA in supporting the youth. As all government functionaries have a responsibility to interpret and roll-out programmes that will ensure the attainment of these key objectives. CoGTA is also playing a role in implementing the objectives of Outcome 9, which promotes attainment of “a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system”. In addition to this outcome, CoGTA also contributes towards the achievement of Outcome 5: “A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path”. Sub-outcome 4 of this outcome seeks to “increase access to occupationally-directed programmes in needed areas and thereby expand the availability of intermediate level skills with a special focus on artisan skills”.
Today’s function is part of government’s advocacy towards increasing access to occupationally-directed programme of artisanship. The training of artisans are part of the National Development Plan (NDP) which sets a target of 30 000 artisans per annum by 2030. It is within this context that government declared the period 2014 – 2024 as the “Decade of the Artisan”, said Minister. The decade of the Artisan was launched in 2014, under the slogan “It’s Cool to be a 21st Century Artisan.
This contribution of MISA will go a long way to ensure that the Apprentice Programme increases the number of skilled artisans in municipalities, with the view to strengthening municipal technical capabilities to perform their mandates. In the process of assisting with infrastructure challenges in Municipalities, the MISA programme also contributes to job creation and fighting poverty amongst the youth.
MISA also runs the Young Graduate Programme which provides qualified candidates with workplace exposure, coaching and mentoring towards registration as professionals. The experiential learners are given workplace exposure in order to complete their studies and acquire experience for entry into the job market.
The Apprenticeship Programme provides learners with theoretical training, hands-on experience, and trade testing towards them qualifying as artisans. MISA’s current interventions with regard to the apprenticeship programme go as far as trade testing and certification.
The reality is that the majority of artisans produced by MISA and many other entities end up unemployed and not contributing to the economy of the country, hence Minister van Rooyen called on all stakeholders to appoint the qualified youth, especially government.
Artisans are much-needed in our country as they perform vital tasks that unfortunately, an ever few number of people are able to do. “We are here today to support our artisans and tell the youth that the country’s future literally, lies in your hands”, said Minister.
Speakers urged the continuation of this important programme by MISA and urged the need to strive for promotion of artisanship in local government for a skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path and radical economic transformation.
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