Recycling reduces youth unemployment
KwaZulu-Natal youth tackled unemployment through recycling, under the supervision of the Wild Trust in partnership with Nedbank.
Over 3000 young people have been granted job opportunities through internships. These opportunities are granted to the youth under the 12 month Youth Employment Services (YES) programme funded by Nedbank. It is aimed at tackling the rate of unemployment, through provision of skills and training.
These young people are deployed in different parts of the province such as the Durban harbour, Midmar Howick recycling depot, up to the north coast of the province.
On Friday, Nedbank CEO, Mike Brown together with the WildTrust CEO, Andrew Venter joined YES beneficiaries in the Durban harbour, and Midmar recycling depot. The aim of the tour was to see the progress of the programme, and also celebrate the work that has been done by these young individuals.
Nedbank’s Mike Brown said that he is happy to see the amazing work done by young people in taking care of the environment.
“As Nedbank we are happy to have partnered with the Wild Trust for over 23 years and we want to do our part to tackle unemployment. My wish is for every company to at least give 1, 1% of their profit into programmes like this,” said Brown.
This programme does not only provide jobs to young people, but gives them work experience in scarce skills jobs, such as operating recycling machinery, marine science, paper and glass processing.
A team of at least 50 YES beneficiaries, called the Blue Port located in the Durban harbour, is responsible for the cleaning of the Durban harbour. They collect plastic, paper, glass, and other industrial waste around the port of Durban.
The Blue Port project supervisor, Wendy Dunn, said that they are very happy that they get to do something that enables them to put bread on the table, while taking care of the ocean and its surroundings.
“I lead an amazing team of young people, and 90% of them are females. We collect waste which accumulates in the harbour from different rivers such as Umbilo, Umlazi and Umgeni River. In the last four months, we have collected over 20,000 Kgs of waste and the majority of it has been plastics such as plastic bottles from grocery stores,” said Dunn.
Some of the Blue Port project team individuals are also receiving training such as boat driving and are expected to receive their skipper licences. Dunn added that some of Blue ports individuals joined as waste collectors, and soon they will be driving cleaning boats around the harbour.
In Midmar recycling depot, young people are being trained to operate recycling machinery from waste collection, bailing, crushing and processing of plastic and glass.
Pictures: Nkosenhle Sibisi, Sibonginkosi Mabika