Ramaphosa praises Drone Academy as part of youth jobs improvement

  • In his latest open letter, President Cyril Ramaphosa announces that the Youth Employment Programme has placed over 100 000 young people in jobs since launching in 2018.
  • He highlights the YES Ulusha Hub in Alexandra, whose drone academy offers training in the repair, operation and maintenance of drones.
  • South Africa has among the highest youth unemployment rates of any country on Earth.

It is no secret that South Africa has one of, if not the largest unemployment rate in the world. Under the expanded definition of unemployment, the percentage of South Africa’s population that remains jobless is over 44 percent. The majority of that statistic is young people between the ages of 18 and 29 as youth jobs are seemingly rare to come by.

According to the latest open letter from President Cyril Ramaphosa, the government’s Youth Employment Service (YES) has now placed over 100 000 young people in jobs at local businesses since launching in 2018, earning over R6 billion in salaries.

The initiative, part of the broader Presidential Youth Employment Intervention, was created to help young people earn work experience and hopefully begin reducing the enormous burden of youth unemployment in the country.

“Many young people in South Africa find it difficult to get jobs because they don’t have any work experience. They come out of school, university or college with qualifications, but many employers are looking for people with experience,” Ramaphosa writes.

Ramaphosa writes that the YES programme has placed many participants in “future-facing” industries, such IT, the green economy, systems and software engineering, app development and others.

He highlights specifically the Drone Academy located in Alexandra, one of the poorest areas of Johannesburg, as part of a major training hub for participants of YES. The academy is part of the Yes Ulusha Hub located at Alex Mall. Last year, it was reported that 400 youths were training at the hub, which includes a textile academy, arts centre, ICT and digital lab, a business centre and of course the drone academy itself.

The academy offers training the in the maintenance, repair, servicing and operations of drones – not only a growing industry in South Africa, but worldwide. The President highlights one particular student who upon completion of the academy’s programme, was employed as a systems integration engineer with a “leading Netherlands-based chip manufacturing firm.”

According to its own research, YES estimates that 40 percent of its participants find employment by the time the programme completes and they are trained. YES participants have been placed at 32 400 jobs this year alone. A new record, the President says.

“Government has put an enabling legislative environment in place to incentivise businesses to participate in youth employment creation,” he writes, adding that it will be up to private sector organisations to become more involved in projects like YES.

“We have always said that the unemployment crisis can only be overcome if all social partners come on board. As the main source of job creation and retention in most countries around the world, including our own, the private sector’s involvement is critical.”

“I call on more businesses to become part of this life-changing programme and to contribute to the recovery and reconstruction of our economy and society.”

[Image – CC BY-ND 2.0 GovernmentZA on Flickr]


About Author


Related News