Lovedale's Essential Enterprise Skills Programme for the deaf and unemployed youth is at its conclusion at the Vukuhambe site in Mdantsane, N.U 9. The three-month-long program aimed to improve young people's lives by educating them about starting up and running their own businesses.
The Essential Enterprise Skills Learnership Programme was tailor-made for people with disabilities, namely those in the deaf community; however, several abled-bodied people also participated. The skills program was a joint venture between Lovedale TVET College's Partnership and Linkages Unit (PLU), the National Skills Fund (NSF), and an external stakeholder, namely the Deaf. This learnership program was an all-inclusive initiative toward alleviating poverty and unemployment in communities.
Ntlahla Thuzani, a deaf participant, commented: "This program has helped me in that I was taught a lot about business, and now I am motivated to start my own company. I have always wanted to know and learn everything that has to do with business and how to start one. I once read somewhere that you can give a man a fish, and he will eat for a day, but teach a man how to fish, and he will eat forever".
Entrepreneurs and private business entities are an integral part of our economy and society solely because they create jobs. "This program bridged that gap because it equipped youth with the crucial skills of starting and maintaining their own businesses, creating jobs, and becoming their own employers. The skills imparted were part of the broader approach by the government, which seeks to alleviate the hardships brought by poverty and unemployment in the country and society. The government realizes that the era of looking for jobs is coming to an end; people must start opening their own businesses. Through equipping youth, we aimed to encourage people to start and manage their businesses." said Zihlwele Godfrey, a Co-ordinator for PLU
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