Western Cape to invest in youth skills development

A joint venture by the Western Cape departments of economic development and agriculture will invest R167 million and R163 million respectively in skills development programmes targeting youth.

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Speaking at the International Food and Agricultural Management Association Symposium and World Forum on 17 June, Western Cape MEC for agriculture Alan Winde said increasing the skills profile of young people was a key priority.

“Young people are our future and we need to give them the support they need to create a better future for themselves and make a valuable contribution to our society and economy.

“We know that globally young people are the demographic with the highest unemployment rate. This is why our skills development programmes, including our Work and Skills Programme and Artisan Development Programme, target youth.”

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Looking forward, the agriculture sector would have to produce more food for more people on limited land and water, said Winde.

“In South Africa, this challenge is compounded by the uncertainties around climate change and regulations on land reform and agricultural policy. We need all the bright minds and talent we can get to solve these challenges for us.”

The annual event sponsored by the Western Cape Department of Agriculture was attended by Grade 10 to Grade 12 pupils who want to pursue a career in the agricultural sector, as well as 20 young farmers.