Second chance for school drop-outs

Sixty people who dropped out of school between Grade 9 and 11 were placed on a year long work readiness programme in Bonteheuwel.

According to Statistics South Africa, South Africa’s unemployment rate in the third quarter of 2021 increased by 0.5% to 34.9%. This is the highest official unemployment rate recorded since the start of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey in 2008.

Bonteheuwel ward councillor Angus McKenzie, hopes to change this. He said that 60% of youth between 18 to 27 years old in Bonteheuwel are without work but many of them are unemployable because they lack necessary skills to be employed.

He therefore plans to introduce a year-long work readiness programme in Bonteheuwel which 60 people, who dropped out of school between Grade 9 and 11, have joined.

The programme launched at the start of the month at the Bonteheuwel civic centre when the 60 participants registered for the six-month course which will start in January next year.

Participants will work towards attaining their matric certificates and will also attend skills workshops to prepare them for the workplace once they’ve graduated. They will also learn workplace etiquette, interviewing skills, and work on their self-presentation and self-awareness.

Mr McKenzie, said it was important for youth to make use of the opportunity because many of them didn’t drop out of school because they were lazy but due to their circumstances.

“Our mission remains clear – a peaceful community and an opportunity-driven society which creates the platform for absolute success – and we are well on our way there. Today Bonteheuwel is one of the safest areas on the Cape Flats and now the opportunity knocks to create opportunities for our people and more specifically our young people,” he said.

Aiden Abrahams, 19, from Bonteheuwel, who attends the classes, dropped out of school in the middle of his matric year last year. He said that he would be focusing on business studies as he hoped to own a supermarket one day.

“What people really want is to shop for food, things for their houses and cars, so I want to provide them with that. It’s a good programme that will ensure that more people will be employed so that people don’t have to struggle in life,” he said.