Our Programmes.

Salesian Youth / What We Do / Our Programmes

Vulnerable children and youth at risk in South Africa face a wide variety of problems, the biggest of which are access to education, employment and basic social skills. Our programmes are designed to address these problems head on so that vulnerable youth can find meaningful work, take care of themselves and reintegrate as productive members of the community.


Our programmes range from basic training for youths with little or no education to more advanced job-specific skills programmes. All our programmes seek to restore dignity and self-esteem and provide the life skills needed to succeed.


Learn To Live School of Skills: Filling the gaps

Many of the children and youth we serve have dropped out from school or never attended in the first place. The Learn-to-Live programme gets them up to speed in basic literacy, numeracy and other areas to prepare the youth for further vocational training that will assist them to find employment after leaving school. Our academic programmes are certified by the Western Cape Education Department and feature classes in:

  • Home Language (Afrikaans, English, isiXhosa)
  • First Additional Language (Afrikaans, English)
  • Mathematics

Life Skills:

  • Creative Arts
  • Natural Science
  • Personal and Social Well-being
  • Computer Literacy

For vocational training, we offer classes led by master craftspeople and mentors in these areas:

  • Woodcraft and Timber
  • Electrical
  • Hairdressing
  • Hospitality Studies

Our Learn-to-Live graduates either go on to other schools, find jobs or start their own small businesses or join one of our other Programs



Porsche Training and Recruitment Centre – South Africa (PTRC-ZA)

Porsche Training and Recruitment Centre – South Africa (PTRC-ZA)

The PTRC-ZA is the newest addition to the Salesian Institute Youth Projects. The automotive industry is facing the biggest upheaval in 100 years as it undergoes a major shift towards new technologies. The ongoing move towards digitalization, connectivity, e-mobility, environmental protection amongst others requires a new set of special skills for employees in the industry. The PTRC-ZA tackles this by creating a regional hub of excellence where Porsche’s intelligent performance and the Salesian social footprint combine to deliver intelligent qualification for the digital automotive pioneers of tomorrow.

This exciting programme was launched in 2017 with the first pilot class of 28 male and female students. Every year, approximately 25 young men and women from socially disadvantaged backgrounds will be trained as automotive service mechatronics technicians. This training seeks to unlock career opportunities in the After Sales dealership organisations of Porsche and the other brands of the Volkswagen Group. The programme is being jointly implemented by the Salesian Institute Youth Projects and the local Porsche importer, LSM Distributors (Pty.) Ltd. This unique combination of competencies allows for a multiple win situation where the Salesian mission and the mission of Porsche are jointly fulfilled.

Porsche has equipped SIYP with two seminar rooms and a training workshop which includes vehicles for the trainees to work on. The vocational education is adapted to the modern and future needs of the automotive industry and the curriculum teaches not only technical and methodological skills but social, personal and digital competencies too.

Are you a young and motivated individual? Are you interested in advanced technologies in the automotive industry? The PTRC-ZA project invites young people with an interest in pursuing a career as automotive service mechatronics technicians to apply for entry into the programme. For more info please contact info@salesians.org.za.

Waves of Change Programme

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 the 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 woman 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 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.

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