Public Works joins forces with FETs

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Pretoria - The Department of Public Works today signed an agreement with FETs in a bid to ensure that students receive proper practical training.

According to the Deputy Director General of Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP), Stanley Henderson, the agreement will see more that 32 000 learners receiving practical training in various spheres.

"We would like to ensure that when the learners have completed their training, they are well prepared for the job market," said Henderson.

According to the agreement, FETs are expected to start with the training next month.

Henderson explained that the learners will be receiving a stipend to be determined by the institutions.

The learners will be receiving practical training in the field of electrical engineering, road maintenance, carpentry and in many other areas.

They will be participating in the programmes on six-month contracts. Partnering with FETs will also ensure that learners are exposed to the job market.

Asked as to how the EPWP has been doing since it was launched, Henderson said about a million work opportunities have been created. "We look forward to creating more job opportunities for the unemployed," he said.

The EPWP has received R200 million funding from the Department of Higher Education to support 25 000 beneficiaries participating in EPWP.

About 80 percent of the funding has been allotted to public colleges, while 20 percent has been ring-fenced for procurement of private training providers in support of BBBEE.

A total of R100 million of the approved R200 million was transferred to the national Department of Public Works by DHET in January 2011. 

More than 1 500 projects requiring training have been received from various public bodies implementing the EPWP.

Presenting the country's budget, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan said the EPWP would be allocated R73 billion over the next three years, including community-based projects, environmental and social programmes and maintenance of roads and infrastructure.

Over 50 FETs will be taking part in the EPWP.