The Claude Leon Foundation


The CIE Thabiso Skills Institute, a division of the Catholic Institute of Education was established to find, test and roll-out solutions to the youth unemployment crisis in South Africa. It guides and supports 25 skills centres across the country that are situated in and around communities that are socio-economically deprived i.e. townships, squatter camps, and communities displaced during apartheid.


These skills centres together serve approximately 5000 youth per annum who are arguably the most marginalised from the job market and economic participation with about 72% possessing education below a NQF 4 qualification (matric equivalent). The supported skills centres offer:


Holistic training that includes Life skills that imparts foundational skills necessary to succeed in work and life.
Training aligned with market opportunities as analysed through a developed and tested community mapping tool.
Training in “hot skills” which are very in-demand skills in communities surrounding skills centres and skills that youth can quickly learn and utilise to start earning income i.e. cell phone repair; delivery scooter repair; basic agriculture etc.
Workplace based learning which holds that exposing youth to the workplace builds necessary competencies and confidence that go beyond occupational training placing youth in an increasingly competitive job market at an advantage and adds to their employability and life experience.
An experienced placement team to seek and build relationships with businesses that lead to workplace based learning and job opportunities.
Pilot Livelihood Hubs at certain skills centres which take entrepreneurial youth through a small and medium enterprise training programme that enables them to spot viable business opportunities, draw up sustainable business plans, and launchbusinesses either individually or in co-operatives.


Impact tracking by the CIE Thabsio Skills Institute’s Monitoring and Evaluation team show that in certain projects, 90% of youth who successfully complete their occupational and Life Skills training benefit from workplace based learning, with over 60% becoming economically active.


© 2012 The Claude Leon Foundation. All rights Reserved.