The Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) has empowered another 17 unemployed young people from disadvantaged areas around Cape Town, to start their own businesses. The youngsters recently completed SEDA training which was delivered by Furntech, a SEDA partner which helps to develop skills and support businesses in the sector of furniture-making. Furntech has trained almost 7 000 learners since it was established, creating 2000 direct and indirect jobs in the furniture industry.
One of the graduates, Samkelo Nkawu from Phillipi, had been struggling to find a job until he saw the opportunity to get involved with the Furntech programme. “I applied and was happy to be selected as I do not have any qualifications,” said Nkawu. He explained that the programme included various subjects, including theory, workplace safety, and practical skills needed for furniture-making.
“When we started the programme, I had no knowledge of furniture making. Now I am happy that I can assemble a cabinet. We were introduced to health and safety regulations in a work area so that we can be aware of any possible dangers in the workplace. We spent another two weeks conducting theory and learning about the tools necessary to do the work required,” added Nkawu.
Through the support of the agency’s business development unit, the graduates are encouraged to start their own businesses.James Vos, Mayoral Committee Member for Economic Opportunities at the City of Cape Town, said that SEDA, which has branches around the country, provides great opportunities for the youth to learn new skills and access work opportunities.
“Skills are essential for economic growth and the City is committed to growing Cape Town’s economy by providing a steady skills pipeline. The City has a long-standing partnership with SEDA, which enables us to better assist businesses and link them to the various branch offices across the City, providing easier access,” noted Vos.He added that it is especially important to focus on youth development at this time of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.