20 000 job opportunities lost in ICT sector, while our youth are crying out for jobs

20 000 youth in our townships are losing out on a critical skills development programme simply because the Gauteng Department of Economic Development is unable to get their ducks in a row.

Unemployment in Gauteng is at an all-time high at 37 percent and our youth in particular are suffering and are in desperate need of employment opportunities to put food on the table.

The Department of Economic Development in Gauteng has yet again failed to meet its job creation target for the third quarter of the 2021/2022 financial year.

According to the third quarter report, a total of 20 000 job opportunities were meant to be created in the ICT sector.

The report further indicates that this target was missed because the department was unable to find suitable sites for the training.

This is a pathetic excuse from the department as their total goal is to train 40 000 people by the end of this financial year.

We are two years into the devasting Covid-19 pandemic and yet, we are still unable to find ways of working around the problems of accommodating our residents in being upskilled in new technology.

It is high time that the lackadaisical approach from our government to capacitate our residents with critical ICT skills ends.

The DA demands that a clear plan be put in place by the department which explains exactly how this backlog will be addressed. We will be tabling questions in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature as well as continuing to put pressure on the department to meet this target by the end of the current financial year.

The DA will also monitor this process to ensure that all our youth have fair access to this programme.

This programme will leave our unemployed residents and youth with a new skill that will assist them in seeking out the job opportunities that arise. This will also assist with skills transfer to other residents across the province.