Deputy Speaker, the South African unemployment rate rose to 25,2% in the first quarter of 2010, according to the Labour Force Survey released by Statistics SA last week. In response to that trend, the Department of Labour launched the Training of the Unemployed Project earlier this year. One of the project's objectives is to train and reskill South African workers, who were retrenched as a result of the global economic recession, so as to minimise the negative effect of the recession.
The project currently trains electricians, boilermakers, welders and mechanics to be employable and to start their own businesses. So far, approximately 750 trainees have been registered for the project in Gauteng.
People who are currently undergoing training were drawn from the Unemployment Insurance Fund, UIF, database. Once they have completed their training the department will also assist with placement. Once the trainees have completed their training, another group will be called in by the Department of Labour. The aim is to train as many South Africans as possible.
The department has said that the qualification that the trainees obtain at the end of the course meets the qualification requirements of the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority.
The department, together with other stakeholders, is currently looking at the possibility of further rolling out this project to make sure that the majority of the unemployed and the youth are able to gain this experience and be employable. Thank you.