Gauteng Premier David Makhura has placed his hopes on the advent of the fourth industrial revolution to provide solutions for the province’s youth unemployment crisis.
Makhura delivered his state of the province address at the Gauteng legislature on Monday where he said nearly 2-million young people in the province were unemployed, not in schooling or receiving any sort of training.
The interventions proposed by the province appeared heavily centred on taking advantage of the digital economy to create employment opportunities.
“As part of addressing structural youth unemployment we are aligning our education and training to meet the needs of our new economy,” Makhura said.
“We have a partnership with technology companies to train young people in digital skills so they can take full advantage of employment and entrepreneurship opportunities in the digital economy,” he added.
Makhura said the focus on tech and digital skills had already been started from a basic education level, where he said the province was the leader in digital skills training nationally
He also announced plans to improve the effectiveness of the Gauteng Innovation Hub, through collaborations with technology entrepreneurs who would mentor young tech entrepreneurs.
“This year we will sent 20 tech-preneurs to Silicon Valley where they will join the rest of the world so that we too can be at the forefront of the digital revolution,” Makhura said.
To date Gauteng government’s flagship Tshepo 1-million programme has benefited more than 460 000 young people since its inception in 2015.
The programme, which is a joint project between the public and private sectors, aims to empower 1 million young people through skills training and job placement and entrepreneurship development.