Sea fishing is a large industry in South Africa, especially along the Western Cape coastline. The Salesian Institute Youth Projects realised the need for youth with very low levels of education to be gainfully employed in order to contribute towards the financial needs of their families and communities. The Cape Town harbour is on our doorstep with a result we partnered with large sea fishing companies in the sector as well as various training providers in the sector to train some 200 young men and women each year.
The Waves of Change (WOC) programme impacts directly on at least 200 youth annually. The indirect impact could affect approximately 1000 people (direct families). All 200 participants complete a 5-day life skills program and then go on to complete Safety and Familiarisation Courses, obtain their Medical Certificates, and other requirements to become seafarers. In the past, these youth received monetary assistance to apply for the various training requirement and steps to be completed. Due to financial constraints, these costs are now covered by the clients personally, whilst SIYP covers the cost for the facilitator on a month-to-month basis as funds become available.
Only once all the training and document requirements have been completed – can the youth be legally employed by a reputable fishing company. This programme aims to address this challenge by offering Life Skills, access to training programmes for work at sea, assistance to obtain a Seamans Record Book and a Doctor’s certificate as well as a Letter of Intent to Employ. The youth who come to us for assistance could not achieve all these steps on their own.
The maritime industry affords these youngsters a career path, something they cannot easily access in other sectors due to their low level of education & socio-economic circumstances. The objective of the Waves of Change (WOC) project is to empower disadvantaged and unemployed youth between the ages of 18–35 years from Cape Town and surrounding areas by preparing them to find work in the maritime industry.