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Youth empowerment key to poverty eradication
Tourism Deputy Minister Elizabeth Thabethe says poverty eradication and job creation through youth empowerment programmes is one of government’s key focus area.

Speaking at the Free State Tourism Buddies Graduation ceremony on Tuesday, Deputy Minister Thabethe said education and training are core elements in eliminating poverty and redress inequalities and it is the foundation for an equal society.

She said education empowers people to define their identity, it enables people to take control of their lives and make informed choices or decisions.

“The department’s Expanded Public Works Programme is one of the vehicles that helps us realise the objectives of the Human Resource Skills Strategy.

“Through EPWP, the department responds to the challenges of expanding our economy whilst providing increased employment opportunities,” Deputy Minister Thabethe said.

She said the provision of employment opportunities will contribute to the NDP’s vision of creating 11 million jobs by 2030.

According to the Deputy Minister, 100 unemployed youth from the Free State were enrolled in this programme for a period of 12 months.

“As you all are aware, training consisted of 30% theory and 70% practical training, where our learners were placed in various hospitality establishments.

About 80 leaners from the Free State receive qualifications which are fully accredited by CATHSSETA.

The qualifications are the National Certificate on Food and Beverages NQF Level 4 and National Certificate on Accommodation Services NQF Level 2.

The tourism sector has made huge strides through the learnership which targets unemployed youth.

In the last financial year, 2 654 youth graduated and 1 837 were women. Twenty of the top achievers are currently placed in the Seychelles for further specialisation in French cuisine.

Deputy Minister Thabethe said the economic benefits of the programme were also shared by the local SMMEs.

“Local businesses were contracted to transport and accommodate learners during the training period, as well as to provide uniforms for our learners,” the Deputy Minister said.

Tourism forms a very big part of the South African economy and gives South Africans the chance to showcase their diverse heritage and natural treasures.

According to the latest statistics, there is a rise within the tourism industry allowing more jobs to be created.

The South African Tourism department along with a number of associations has opened multiple careers within the tourism industry for young South Africans.

– SAnews.gov.za
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