Question for oral replyQuestion no.: 128Date of publication: 24 October 2012128. Ms B P Mabe (ANC-Gauteng) to ask the Minister of Public Enterprises:Whether the Youth Economic Programme that was launched in June 2011 has (a) been fully implemented and (b) proven to be successful; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (i) how many youth have benefited from the programme, (ii) what is the process of benefiting, (iii) what criteria is being used in order to benefit from the programme and (iv)(aa) how and (bb) to what extent does the youth benefit from the programme? CO742EReply: (a) The Youth Economic Participation (YEP) Programme is in the process of implementation and, because it is an on-going process, it can never be fully implemented. It continues to evolve. As a result, the Department has established a Transformation and Youth Development Directorate with dedicated resources to coordinate the activities of the programme, to ensure that youth initiatives in State-Owned Companies (SOCS) within the DPE portfolio are aligned with government objectives and the impact thereof is maximised.(b) Although the programme was launched in June 2011, the focus on youth development has proved to be a success and SOCS have pledged their support to this initiative as demonstrated by their active participation and attendance by youth at career expos which were held in Soshanguve, Khayelitsha and Bushbuck Ridge.It should also be noted that within the YEP, the DPE is currently developing a 3-year action plan to guide alignment and development of clearly defined activities related to the four key elements of the YEP Programme, namely, Employment Creation, Skills Development, Youth Entrepreneurship and Corporate Social Investments.(b)(i) About 2 700 youth participated in career expos hosted by the DPE in collaboration with community stakeholders, schools and youth formations such as the National Youth Development Agency. The participants to the career expos have received information packs from direct engagements with SOCS. The career expos are open to youth broadly but special attention is given to school-going youth to guide their career path.In addition, more than 15000 learners, with the majority of them being youth, were trained by the SOCS in various scarce and critical skills learning programmes during the 2011/12 financial year. For example, about 2200 of these learners were new learners enrolled as artisan trainees and about 5200 additional learners were trained in the infrastructure build programmes through the Eskom supplier network, which included approximately 2800 matriculants trained in artisan skills and about 2400 graduates placed for work experiential learning. (ii) Learners are identified through SOCS recruitment processes in collaboration with relevant SETAs, FET Colleges and media adverts with emphasis of training learners for long-term learning programmes leading to qualifications for scarce and critical occupations such as artisans, technicians, engineers and pilots. (iii) The criteria being used is simply that the selected youth must meet the requirements as set out for different disciplines related to scarce and critical occupations. However, the SOCS also identify youth employed workers who have acquired artisan skills informally by means of working with qualified artisans. These workers are evaluated and trained towards attaining artisan status. Also, SOCS ensure that employment equity standards through skills development are met.(iv)(aa) The SOCS initiatives are more biased to youth and thus more than 70% youth learners are enrolled into learnerships, apprenticeships, internships including cadetships. SOCS also provide support through bursary and scholarship schemes aimed at matriculants in the fields of science and maths including engineering studies from under-graduate to post-graduate studies.(iv)(bb) The information dissemination and outreach element of the programme through career expos and youth dialogues is gaining momentum and it allows for youth to make career choices and seize the opportunities for learning in the SOCS. It is anticipated that once the strategy is finalized, the programme will further optimise SOCS efforts for the maximum benefit of youth, especially in the rural and peri-urban areas.