Equipping the youth in KwaZulu-Natal with the necessary skills to create jobs : the case study of Umsobomvu Youth Fund.
Shezi, Sizwe Theophelus.
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In 2001 the South African government established the Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF) as a national youth development initiative to promote employment opportunities for young people and enhance entrepreneurship amongst them for sustainable livelihoods. The UYF focused on three areas: contact, information and counselling; skills development and transfer, and youth entrepreneurship. This study aimed to explore the relationship between job creation and the UYF's skills development and transfer programme. It investigated the impact of the UYF training programmes in helping youth establish business enterprises and the creation of jobs. Using a nonexperimental approach, qualitative and quantitative data was collected from purposively selected UYF personnel and a sample of UYF beneficiaries. The data was thematically and statistically analysed to determine the programme's role on new firm formation, job creation, and the quality of life of beneficiaries and their families. The study found a positive impact of UYF's entrepreneurship education and training programme on new firm formation (self-employment), disposable income and the quality of life of the beneficiaries and their families. At the same time, there was a negative impact towards reducing unemployment and creating jobs. Also, the entrepreneurship education programme did not attract adequate participation by beneficiaries and its curriculum content did not cover critical entrepreneurship skills. The findings show that more interventions are required to enable to the Umsobomvu Youth Fund to deliver on its skills development and job creation mandate better.