Unemployment levels, especially among the youth, have reached an all-time high. According to Stats SA’s latest figures, youth unemployment in South Africa is at 66.5%. How do we solve this endemic issue? South African government, business and international partners are working together to find viable solutions.
One such solution is the launch of the Career Path Development for Employment (CPD4E). The CPD4E programme aims to improve employment and income opportunities for young people in South Africa in a sustainable, increasingly decarbonised economy as we transition to net zero by 2050.
This transition presents an opportunity for job creation and economic growth. A truly just transition requires a deep and comprehensive understanding of both industry needs and the supporting skills required. This is achieved by supporting the supply and demand side of employment opportunities, and addressing the emerging opportunities for enterprise and skills development in the green economy space.
The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and in cooperation with the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), launched the Career Path Development for Employment (CPD4E) project, together with the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and the National Business Initiative (NBI).
The CPD4E was officially launched on 22 September at a high-profile event attended by the Swiss Ambassador, H.E Nicolas Brühl, as well as the Deputy German Ambassador, H.E Enrico Brandt. The Chief Director of Programmes and Qualifications at the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), Aruna Singh, gave the opening remarks. The launch unpacked innovative solutions for widening private sector interventions, as well as collaborative opportunities to work together, in order to achieve the vision of an equitable and inclusive economy.
“It is the overarching goal of German cooperation to support South Africa’s transition to a sustainable, low-carbon, climate-resilient and inclusive economy, working together with DHET. The new CPD4E Programme addresses the significant future skills needs in the labour market to boost employment opportunities in the just transition process. I am pleased about the Swiss-German co-financing towards the CPD4E Programme, and I feel confident of a fruitful partnership,” said German Deputy Ambassador, Enrico Brandt.
South Africa’s economic difficulties have been further exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic, with the worst impacts experienced by vulnerable groups, such as women and the youth, leaving almost every second youth unemployed.
Swiss Ambassador Brühl says: “Switzerland’s economic development cooperation is an important pillar of the South African-Swiss partnership. This new programme with our German colleagues will help build a strong and trustworthy collaboration between the public and private sectors to improve the quality of vocational education and create opportunities for young people in this country.”
The CPD4E programme will bring Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and the private sector closer together, bringing about mutually beneficial relationships that can support more successful transitions of young people to employment and self-employment, particularly in the green economy.
“The dramatic unemployment crisis and the transition to an increasingly decarbonised economy are two critical issues of this time that need innovative solutions. With the CPD4E Programme, we want to promote a just transition and inclusive employment creation, by supporting the supply and demand side to understand and address the emerging opportunities for enterprise and skills development,” explains Kirsten Freimann, Director of the CPD4E Programme at GIZ.
Gugu Ushewokunze (Head: Economic Inclusion) at the National Business Initiative explains what makes CPD4E both unique and effective: “CPD4E’s approach aims to address the structural barriers to supporting job creation, within the context of a just transition, by building the capacity of the ecosystem and addressing immediate and long-term challenges. The NBI is honoured to partner in the implementation of this programme.”
To find out more about the Career Path Development for Employment (CPD4E). access the CPD4E factsheet with more information about the programme.
If you are a private sector organisation that would like to get involved or support this important work, please contact the National Business Initiative for more information. Join us and let’s build South Africa’s future together.