The role of education and training in job creation and poverty alleviation in the Sicelo township of Midvaal municipality
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This dissertation studies the role of education and training in job creation and poverty alleviation in the Sicelo Township. The study focuses on three areas, namely, unemployment, poverty and education and training. The actual state of unemployment and poverty in Sicelo is determined and the role of education and training in solving the problems of unemployment and poverty is discussed. Unemployment is identified, amongst others, as a major determinant of poverty. The main component of any policy aimed at eradicating poverty should therefore focus on employment creation. Education and training is found to be important in labour force participation, finding employment and, therefore, in alleviating poverty. Across both genders, individuals with a low level of education have less chance of finding employment than those with a higher level. Both unemployment and poverty is measured and a profile of the poor in Sicelo is given in terms of several household-level indicators. To measure poverty, the following tools are used: the household subsistence level (HSL) as poverty line, the headcount index, the poverty gap and the dependency ratio. The dissertation shows that Sicelo, compared to Bophelong, experiences lower unemployment rates as well as lower levels of poverty. Most of the indicators show that households in Sicelo are better off than Bophelong. From the analysis it is clear that a high percentage of the poor population have only a primary or incomplete secondary education, which could therefore imply that the lack of education (especially higher education) is a contributing factor to unemployment and poverty in Sicelo. Hence this study shows that access to education is clearly a key component, not only for human resource development, but also of an individual's ability to cope with modern living and to benefit from available opportunities. The unemployment rate amongst the poor was determined at 61.7 percent for Sicelo and the number of poor unemployed persons estimated at 908. If the poor unemployed with skills could be assisted in acquiring further training in the same field in which they already have skills, job opportunities could possibly be found in catering, retail trade, building construction, sewing and welding. Assuming that jobs for all 908 unemployed poor persons in Sicelo could be created at an average monthly income of R600 per month, the impact on the Sicelo community would be that the headcount index would be reduced from 0.50 to 0.23 and the poverty gap index from 0.37 to 0.22. This implies that the percentage of households below their poverty lines would be reduced from the present 50 percent to only 23 percent, and the average shortfall in income of the poor households would be reduced from 37 percent to 22 percent. More training and/or higher qualifications may lead to an increase in the average income, which will result in the reduction of the headcount index. Finally, the dissertation concludes that investing in education and training indeed can create job opportunities and reduce unemployment. This conclusion was drawn from the contention that uneducated individuals have fewer employment opportunities than their educated counterparts. Educated people have also a higher income earning potential, and are better able to improve the quality of their lives.
- ETD@Vaal Triangle Campus