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Youth Employment Initiative Launched in South Africa

Caterpillar Foundation and the International Youth Foundation

Submitted by: International Youth Foundation

Categories: Community Development, Corporate Social Responsibility

Posted: May 03, 2012 – 03:05 PM EST


JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, May 03 /CSRwire/ - To address the challenges young people face in South Africa when entering the labor force or starting their own business, the International Youth Foundation (IYF) and the Caterpillar Foundation have launched EquipYouth, a program that will provide 720 local youth with a package of services that includes technical job and life skills training as well as post-training support. The program, which is gaining valuable corporate support from Barloworld Equipment South Africa (the local Cat® dealer), will be implemented through St. Anthony’s Education Centre, a South African organization established to address the educational and training needs of vulnerable youth and adults in the community. 

Through EquipYouth, participants will receive 24 weeks of hands-on training focused on preparing them to acquire certification as electricians, welders, automotive mechanics, bookkeepers, and plumbers. Youth will also receive a life skills training component that includes such issues as workforce readiness, community engagement, and strategies to become self-sufficient. Upon graduation, trainees will register with the job and career counseling office at St. Anthony’s Education Centre where they will receive ongoing support in finding internships and employment opportunities.  

"We are excited about the tremendous possibilities EquipYouth will create for these young people," said Caterpillar Corporate Public Affairs Director Jim Baumgartner. “Giving unemployed youth options for a sustainable employment future closely aligns with the Caterpillar Foundation focus on access to education. We are proud to support IYF in its efforts to reach young people with technical training and life skills."  Terry Dearling, Executive Director, Human Resources at Barloworld Equipment, added:  “As a leading South African company, Barloworld has a responsibility and a desire to help build our nation. That means helping its citizens to obtain the skills they need to become active in the economy – particularly those who simply don’t have the means or the support to achieve their dreams.”

The program is part of a global EquipYouth partnership between IYF and the Caterpillar Foundation that will provide 8,000 young people in Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Russia, Singapore, and South Africa with market-relevant life and job skills training along with internships, on-the-job training and employment placement services. 

“With as many as 100 million young people worldwide unemployed, it will take leaders from every sector of society, working together, to make a real and positive difference in the lives of today’s youth,” said Patricia Scheid, Senior Program Director Africa Region, the International Youth Foundation.  “So IYF is very pleased to join the Caterpillar Foundation and our local partners not only here in South Africa, but also around the world to ensure youth in every community get the skills and opportunities they need to be successful.” 

The EquipYouth program in South Africa will serve as a model to generate lessons and identify best practices relating to public-private partnerships that can be used to expand access to further training for vulnerable youth and to support South Africa’s National Skills Development Strategy. Launch attendees included representatives from Caterpillar, Barloworld Equipment South Africa, the International Youth Foundation, St. Anthony’s Education Centre, job training institutes, local business leaders, and youth enrolled in the EquipYouth project.


Caterpillar Inc. supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $500 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs.

More information is available at www.caterpillar.com/foundation. 


The International Youth Foundation (IYF) invests in the extraordinary potential of young people.  Founded in 1990, IYF builds and maintains a worldwide community of businesses, governments, and civil society organizations committed to empowering youth to be healthy, productive, and engaged citizens. IYF programs are catalysts for change that help young people obtain a quality education, gain employability skills, make healthy choices, and improve their communities.

To learn more visit www.iyfnet.org.

For more information, please contact:

Patricia Scheid Senior Program Director
Christy Macy Editorial Director

For more from this organization:

International Youth Foundation


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