Today, the Minister of Social Development, Albert Fritz, together with Councillor Cynthia Clayton, visited Lesedi Skills Academy (LSA) based in the heart of the Atlantis Special Economic Zone (SEZ). Here, Minister Fritz committed to supporting the placement of an additional 30 youths at LSA.
LSA provides skills development and training, allowing young people, and previously disadvantaged individuals to enter the formal job market. At the point of programme exit, the learners are adequately equipped not only as skilled artisans but instilled with the global nuclear level of Occupational Health Safety & Environment standards - elements not covered in conventional artisan programmes.
It further supports the industrialisation of Atlantis which was declared a SEZ in 2018. Since 2015, LSA has trained over 100 learners, mostly from Atlantis. Of those trained, 92% are 35 years and younger.
Minister Fritz said, “Initiatives such as LSA empower the youth and are key to overcoming South Africa’s high youth unemployment rate by providing young people with skills they can use to access jobs and employment. For this reason, the Ministry of Social Development started the Cape Youth @ Work programme which has provided a work opportunity and training to nearly 100 students since its inception last year. This programme, together with the work done by LSA, has inspired me to support 30 additional LSA trainees in their next uptake period.”
Lesedi Skills Academy Operations Director, Natasha Africa said, “The LSA is committed to the training and skills development of the people of Atlantis, particularly the youth. It is our intention to make a positive contribution through the provision of useful technical skills that benefit people and improve their daily lives. In so doing, we will also directly be able to support local businesses with skills development required for operating in this Special Economic Zone.”
Under the leadership of Minister Fritz, the Department of Social Development will continue to support the most vulnerable youths in the province.