Saldanha - Government launched a pilot project in Saldanha on Thursday which will see 150 youth, aged between 18 and 35, being employed in the environment sector.
Through the National Youth Service Pilot Project on Environment, the youth will be working on environmentally focused projects, including greening the environment, conservation of natural resources, coastal management, waste management and upgrading of public infrastructure.
They were officially welcomed into a year of full-time service by the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, Rejoice Mabudafhasi who launched the project.
According to the department, in addition to serving their communities, the youth will be further empowered through training accredited by the National Qualifications Framework in computer skills, entrepreneurship awareness, environmental technical training.
They will also receive training to help them obtain a driver's licenses.
The youth involved in the project will receive a stipend to cover their transport and basic necessities, said the department.
The Saldanha project will be expanded to include a further 250 youth in the next two years.
The other environment youth service pilot projects spearheaded by the Department are in Johannesburg, Gauteng and Hermanus in the Western Cape.
The launch coincides with Youth Month and National Environment month.
It forms part of government's National Youth Service Programme (NYS), aimed at engaging South African youths in community service activities in order to strengthen service delivery, promote nation building and foster social cohesion.
The programme assists the youth in gaining occupational skills to access sustainable livelihood opportunities.