Junior Achievement South Africa and Absa have joined forces to combat South Africa’s soaring youth unemployment figures by equipping young, aspiring entrepreneurs with the skills and experience needed to build sustainable, successful businesses.
JOHANNESBURG, APR 19, 2013 – Junior Achievement South Africa (JASA) launched their Immersion Training Strategy: Targeting Young Marginalised Youth (ITS TYME) programme in January this year. Absa has generously committed to funding the ITS TYME programmes in South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia – reaching 4,050 unemployed youth from across the African continent over three years.
The ITS TYME programme is an intensive three to four month programme during which students meet once or twice a week for three hours. ITS TYME is an incubator style entrepreneurship skills programme for out of school youth between the ages of 18 and 35 and is aimed at addressing the vast unemployment challenge facing young people in South Africa. The project also includes traditional workplace readiness skills, life skills, financial literacy and banking and saving.
All of JASA’s programmes involve real hands-on, experiential learning. Participants form small businesses, elect managers, complete market research to determine a product or service that will sell in their community, manufacture the product and finally share in the profits. In so doing, they learn how to start and run their own business in a practical way. The ITS TYME programme follows the same methodology, ensuring that students experience hands-on learning. “JASA’s 33 years’ of experience running experiential programmes in the in-school market have provided a strong foundation in entrepreneurial education from which to expand into the out of school market.” Noted Linda McClure, JASA’s Managing Director.
ITS TYME programmes are already underway in Eersterus, Ivory Park, Kagiso, Khutsong, Heidelburg, Soweto and Thokoza and programmes are also planned in Tembisa, Rustenburg and Duduza in the near future. Interest in the programme has been excellent in some areas, for example, in Khutsong there are already 45 students attending the programme and each week there are additional students wanting to join.
In total there are 17 ITS TYME programmes planned for the year, predominantly in Gauteng. Provision has also been made to run programmes in the Western Cape and North West Provinces. The programme intends to reach 600 unemployed youth this year and JASA has partnered with several youth organisations including Siyafunda CTC, Khulisa Social Services, National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Youth Making a Difference (YMAD), Seed Container Park (SECOPA) and the Kagiso Multipurpose Community Centre (MCC) to ensure that we reach this goal. These organisations are in regular contact with unemployed youth throughout the country and these partnerships will ensure that the ITS TYME programme reaches the youth that have the greatest need.
“Although the out of school market is a challenging market in which to work, the need for this programme most definitely outweighs the risk. Junior Achievement’s main purpose is to shape young entrepreneurs and to nurture entrepreneurial thinking, and we believe we are perfectly positioned to make a positive impact on the lives of unemployed youth in South Africa.” Concluded Linda McClure.