Programme aims to improve job chances

Shaanaaz de Jager

A SINGLE mother of three was among 35 students who graduated from a programme designed to make Helenvale youth more employable.

The programme, which was presented by non-profit organisation Siya Sebenza, ran in April and May and came about after the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) identified a need for it.

Cathleen Fortuin, 31, a single mother of three children, said the course had helped her become more business-savvy.

She said her curry bunny (vetkoek and curried mince) business had been struggling but since participating in the course – and learning about marketing – trade had picked up.

Apart from the curry bunnies, she now sells bunny chows, rotis, burger quarters and salads on Fridays and Saturdays.

“I am grateful to the MBDA and Siya Sebenza for the opportunity,” she said.

Amorita Baartman, 25, who is unemployed, said she was very proud to have completed the course.

“I learnt a lot and recommend that it be taught to others as well. I have applied for work and am waiting for a response,” Baartman said.

MBDA planning and development manager Eldrid Uithaler said five students had found employment as a result of the programme, with 10 more assessed on Monday for possible employment. Another 10 students will complete a week-long experiential work practice.

“The ultimate aim, for all who go through this training, is to either find employment or work towards self-employment. The MBDA wants to encourage the students to be change agents in Helenvale and assist to change the community for the better,” Uithaler said.

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