June 2019

A youth development programme, to prepare carpentry graduates for the workplace, has grown into so much more.

The Soutpan Solar Power Carpentry Graduate Programme that kicked off in January 2019, was inspired by the need to help provide work opportunities for graduates, coupled with the need for better school furniture.  By marrying these needs a value chain has been set up that is opening doors for young community members in the Blouberg Municipality.

The programme supports five carpentry graduate interns that are provided with a monthly stipend, and have a 12-month contract until December 2019, following which a new group of graduates will fill their shoes.  The thinking behind the annual intake of graduates is to help prepare these youth for future careers, build their self-esteem and stimulate a culture of entrepreneurship.

“This graduate programme has been brewing in our minds since 2015, when we became aware of the very high rate of unemployment amongst the youth in the local communities, hence our plan was to prepare and assist these youth to enter the workplace, and also to help prepare them by providing experience to fulfil their day-to-day responsibilities,” said Harrisinah Theka, Economic Development Officer for Soutpan Solar Power.

The carpenters are graduates from the Capricorn and Waterberg TVET Colleges (Seshego Campus and Mokopane College) and are busy refurbishing furniture for nearly fifteen local schools.