340,000 young people start work this month as part of job stimulus plan
At least 340,000 unemployed young people are set to start working in the education sector this December.
This is according to a progress report released by the presidency on Tuesday after President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the Presidential Employment Stimulus in October. The stimulus aims to create 800,000 job opportunities by the end of the current financial year — March 2021.
Ramaphosa set aside R100bn towards the creation of jobs in the public sector in the next three years, of which R13bn has been allocated for the 2020/2021 financial year.
The document released by the presidency showed that most of the jobs would be created in the education sector where most successful applicants were due to be employed as education assistants and general school assistants.
More than 850,000 young people applied for the placements through the employment stimulus, most of whom were women who have completed matric (38%) and those with post-matric qualifications (also 38%).
The presidency said during the upcoming school holidays, most young people would be hired during the rollout of a school infrastructure maintenance project across the country.
“The selection process for education assistants will prioritise young people with qualifications in education or other post- school training. The general school assistants programme will prioritise people with skills in bricklaying, woodwork or other skills relevant to the maintenance of school infrastructure,” it said.
“During the upcoming school holidays, an intensive process of school infrastructure maintenance will take place. Participants will also receive induction and training during this period.
“The training will include aspects such as robotics, reading and mathematics, addressing key sector priorities. The DBE [department of basic education] is engaging with many role players in the education sector to put a quality training programme in place.”
Basic education minister Angie Motshekga said these programmes were aimed at equipping young people with skills that will ensure their employability in the future.
“This programme will enhance the employability of participants. We hope it will encourage youth involvement in the schools beyond the project lifespan and that the employment opportunities created will contribute to local community upliftment,” she said.
Motshekga said those employed as general school assistants would be maintaining the schools’ infrastructure across all provinces.
“The programme also leverages technology in education to enhance the teaching and learning experience,” she said.
In other sectors, the department of social development has so far reinstated 994 social workers who began work in the early childhood development programmes at the beginning of November and at least 815 more are expected to be recruited soon. In total the department is aiming to provide income support to more than 108,000 workers in the early childhood development programmes.
The department of transport will also start recruiting young people in January to maintain provincial rural roads across the country.
Provincial departments of health have also begun recruiting auxiliary nurses who have been unemployed.
A thousand unemployed graduates will be recruited by the Human Sciences Research Council, while 1,600 have been recruited by the department of public works.