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Securing youth employment is paramount to poverty alleviation in South Africa

Chevron South Africa renews partnership to enhance youth employment.

According to the World Economic Forum Global Risk 2014 report, South Africa has the third highest unemployment rate in the world between the ages of 15 and 24. Furthermore, the report estimates that more than 50% of this age group is unemployed. In addition, Statistics South Africa recently announced that the general unemployment rate in South Africa reached 26.7 % in the first quarter of 2016 from 24.5 % in the previous quarter, making unemployment the highest it has been since September 2005.

The growth rate amongst the youth in the country presents an opportunity for greater participation in the South African economy if these young South Africans are meaningfully employed.

Added to this is the fact that South African youth generally have little to no experience of formal employment, making it extremely challenging to get their feet in the door. With this in mind, Chevron South Africa revised its current partnership with the Amy Biehl Foundation to invest in their Entrepreneurial, Enterprise & Vocational Skills Development (EESD) programme, with the aim of tackling youth unemployment head on.

"EESD is a sustainable and holistic youth development programme, focusing on the attainment of soft skills, vocational skills and experience thereby ensuring our youth succeed by becoming economically active and contributing to society," says Shashi Rabbipal, Chairman Chevron South Africa.

EESD is aimed at school leavers, unemployed youth as well as past attendees of the Amy Biehl after School Programmes, and is based at Amy Biehl’s premises in Sybrand Park, Cape Town.

Empowering participants with confidence through structured training and hands-on experience, then introducing them to development partners for employment opportunities, are key outputs of the programme.

"In the programme’s first full year of operation, we have seen close to 108 youth find part-time or full-time employment.

As a non-profit organisation, the Amy Biehl Foundation relies heavily on support from individuals and the private sector.

Commenting on the relationship, Kevin Chaplin, Managing Director of the foundation says, "We value the strong partnership that we have built with Chevron South Africa over the years. Investments like this enable us to create change together. We require sustainable partners in order to run the EESD programme, employ facilitators, feed the learners; pay for transport and purchase ingredients or materials for the various disciplines."

Beyond placement, EESD encourages ongoing mentorship, nurturing learners with the goal of setting them up for careers in which they can grow and develop.

Article Courtesy: SA Good News