Presidential employment stimulus

/sites/default/files/pictures/Nkele.Sebasa%20(1).JPGBy Nkele Sebasa

There are many young people in our country who are ready to enter the working world but find themselves in a Catch-22 situation. They are unable to get a job because they do not have experience and are unable to get the needed experience because they cannot get hired.

Employers are often hesitant to employ a young person who does not have the relevant experience, even for an entry-level position. They also do not want to invest in the costs and time required to train new entrants.

This is not only frustrating to young people who are ready to apply themselves but also worsens our nation’s unemployment challenge. Work experience is the vital link between young people transitioning from education into employment.

In appreciating the challenges faced by young people, the Presidential Employment Stimulus is providing hundreds of thousands of young people with vital work experience to place them on a career path, while at the same time contributing to our country’s employment.

Through the programme, young people undergo an induction into the world of work that includes key areas such as time management, accountability, work structure and communication skills. They also receive various on the job skills in education assistants, administrators or information technology. Those who are employed as general assistants were skilled in school maintenance, security, food gardens, sports and after-school care.

These opportunities help to boost morale among young people and give them a sense of accomplishment as they participate in meaningful work. Work opportunities that are part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus create real public value that are seen and felt by the communities across the country.

Importantly, the young people who are part of the programme receive a stipend which has served to cushion the blow for thousands of families across the country who would have otherwise been left destitute by the tough economic environment.

In assisting youth access work opportunities, we saw more than a million young people apply for jobs on which is accessed without data on all mobile operators.

Through the graduate programme with universities, a number of graduates were placed in work related to their qualifications. All these work opportunities have made it possible for young people to gain the necessary experience to enter the working world.

We believe that once a young person gains experience their prospects of finding future work will improve. We all have a part to play in job creation, in particular the private sector, which is encouraged to partner with government to change our nation’s employment trajectory.

We call on companies to commit to employing more young people as part of our efforts to tackle youth unemployment and do everything within their ambit to give more young people an opportunity to pursue a career path.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “I am calling on all our partners, especially business, to harness the energies, talent, skills and experience of these young people to grow our economy. The quality work experience and training provided by this programme addresses the concerns of many businesses that young applicants lack skills and experience.” 

Since the start of the Presidential Employment Stimulus we have demonstrated what can be achieved through focused attention and strong partnerships. We are confident that with the continued support of business, labour and civil society we can create a common front in overcoming one of our nation’s biggest challenges.