On the 15th of September 2014 Africa Unite held a follow up community dialogue on youth unemployment in Hanover Park at the Hanover Park community centre. The follow up session is part of Africa Unite community conflict mediation project which aims at strengthening grassroots capacities within the communities in conflict in order to find durable solutions to their daily challenges.
From the previous dialogue, the community of Hanover Park felt that drug abuse, gangsterism and the poor education system were the main issues to be discussed further, however youth unemployment was amongst the challenges raised by the community. Hence Africa Unite and community together organised a youth unemployment dialogue to start creating a platform where the durable solutions can be identified by the community.
The dialogue was attended by Mr. Van Der Rheede –local Councillor and different community members of Hanover Park. The following speakers were invited:
• MR. Issel Simmers- Chairperson of Hanover Park Business Forum
• Mr. Faried Cassiem – Local Government CDW Directorate
• Ms. Nomsa Simetu – Social Development Athlone office
• Ilhaam Williams – Youth leader- Hope
The speakers elaborated on different opportunities available for young people in the area. They also emphasised on the importance of young people taking initiative because opportunities do not always come to them, hence they must constantly search for the opportunities. Mr. Simmers of Business Forum and community liaising officer between Hanover Park and different companies offered twenty job opportunities in Bakery and leather work- young people who were present and interested gave their names at the end of dialogue. They will start training on the 23rd of October.
The floor was then given to the community to express themselves and give their reasons why youth unemployment is rife in their area.
Below are some of the reasons mentioned by the youth:
• Lack of commitment amongst youth- most of them are not interested in being volunteers.
• Some young people are reluctant to look for jobs; they want opportunities to come to them.
• Some youth are losing faith due to empty promises as they hang on for long without any notable changes.
• The name Hanover Park sometimes discredits them from getting jobs. The community has been stereotyped for breeding youth gangs and drug addicts.
• Sometimes it is difficult to know about the job opportunities because of lack of information.
The youth were encouraged and advised that many factors may contribute to their employment such as a good CV, skills training, attitudes and behaviours etc…..
Mr. Mr. Van Der Reeder (Councillor) also highlighted that he was very passionate and concerned about the youth in Hanover Park and encouraged them to join the Hanover Park youth structure which he formed to create a platform for young people in the area to address the issues affecting them.
The following recommendations were taken forward regarding the youth unemployment in Hanover Park.
• A youth dialogue that will be made up of young people from Hanover Park should be conducted. This was suggested after there was a general feeling during the dialogue that the young people present were not freely participating mainly because the adults were being more vocal.
• A career exhibition should be organised by Africa Unite and different stakeholders in Hanover Park. The exhibition should attract big and small private and public institutions. These intuitions will explain and register some of the young job seekers in Hanover Park in their database.
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