The Youth in Energy Indaba (YEI) Steering Committee, comprising of key energy stakeholders, in an effort to promote the South African energy industry locally, is hosting its inaugural Youth in Energy Indaba 2016. The YEI will take place over a two-day period, 20 and 21 October 2016, and aims to attract the youth from the Sarah Baartman District Municipality in the Eastern Cape Province.
According to the YEI Steering Committee, as a result of the gap between the industry and relevant parties, young professionals, unemployed youth and SMMEs, remain uninformed about required competencies and qualifications, current job and business opportunities in the sector. As a result, there is pressure to find skilled labour, entrepreneurial skills and growth-driven future generation.
“The YEI aims to create awareness of opportunities in the energy sector in order to encourage meaningful participation of our youth, professionals and SMMEs. Thus the decision to provide a platform that will create a dialogue amongst energy stakeholders, business, youth, SMMEs, civil society and various social partners, for the purpose of mainstreaming youth development in the energy sector,” says Candice Moodley, Chairperson of the YEI Steering Committee.
According to the available reports, the Eastern Cape Province has over the past decades experienced an average employment growth rate of 26.8 percent, however its youth unemployment rate remains higher than the country’s aggregate unemployment rate.
The YEI Steering Committee says the youth unemployment rate in the Province is a concern, as it highlights the labour market’s inability to create sufficient jobs, especially for young people looking for employment. More so because there are a number of energy projects that are currently underway in the province.
“During YEI, it is envisioned that the youth and SMMEs will be exposed to the many facets of the energy sector, from policy discussion, energy mix programmes including skills development, employment opportunities, Enterprise and Supplier Development for SMMEs, specifically in the Province. We therefore encourage all stakeholders to come together to ensure the sustainable development of these communities through the opportunities presented by the energy sector,” concludes Moodley.
The Youth in Energy Indaba Steering Committee is made up of: Energy and Water Sector Education and Training Authority (EWSETA), Department of Energy (DoE), Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET), The South African Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), Eskom, Coega Industrial Development Zone (IDZ) and Nuclear Industry Association of South Africa (NIASA).