Western Cape Finance and Economic Opportunities offer apprenticeships to 43 unemployed youth at Golden Arrow Bus Services

Apprenticeships give hope to 43 previously unemployed youth at Golden Arrow Bus Services

Our top priority is to create economic opportunities for young people in the Western Cape by creating the right conditions for economic growth and job creation. To create that talent pipeline, we are working hard, through our Skills Development programme, to create more opportunities for young people to get the right qualifications, the right skills and the right experience for jobs available now and in the future.

Which is why the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT) runs the Artisan Development Programme, which provides opportunities for experiential work at Golden Arrow Bus Services’ (GABS) depot and workshop, providing young people with valuable work experience in jobs requiring artisanal and technical skills.

DEDAT provides monthly stipends to 37 apprentices in 5 different trades in GABS, including Vehicle Body Builder, Fitting and Turning, Spray painting, Auto Electrician and Diesel Mechanic. A group of learners started in April 2022 and another group started earlier this month.

Within their contract term, they will attempt their trade test to become qualified artisans within their respective trades.

DEDAT also supports 6 bus driver learners at GABS, who started in June 2022 and who receive a monthly stipend and will qualify as drivers at the end of their work placement.

All the learners receive additional financial support from GABS in the form of monthly bus tickets as well as additional training.

I had the distinct pleasure of meeting with some of the young beneficiaries of the programme yesterday at GABS depot in Epping.

What struck me in my discussions with the learners was the hope, confidence and optimism each young person had found from this experiential work-placement opportunity. All of them were previously unemployed despite attending college. Each of them also had family members depending on them and the pride each of them had in being able to support their families as well as hope for the future was truly inspiring.

One of my priorities is to invest in local talent through targeted skills programmes so that they can leverage the opportunities that the private sector creates. The partnership between DEDAT and GABS is a perfect example of how, when we work together, we can make a difference in the lives of young people who have not been able to find work opportunities.

*Photos available on request

Source: Government of South Africa

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