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South Africa’s youth are a top priority

Written by Allison Cooper

Government continues to drive various initiatives to ensure that SA’s youth are given access to opportunities to better themselves, drive change in their communities and contribute to the economy.

Vuk’uzenzele highlights some of these opportunities in celebration of Youth Month.

Presidential Youth Employment Intervention

The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI), part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES), includes a range of priority actions to boost youth employment. 

It has established the National Pathway Management Network and Presidential Youth Employment Services (YES), and is delivering agile workforce development, supporting youth self-employment and enterprises in the township and rural economy and strengthening workplace experience.

The PES, SA’s largest public employment programme, was established to create jobs and strengthen livelihoods, supporting meaningful work while the labour market recovers from COVID-19.

It has since supported over 850 000 opportunities, 80% of which were for youth, President Cyril Ramaphosa confirmed in his State of the Nation Address in February. The number of direct beneficiaries will soon rise to over one million, he added.

For more information about the PES, visit www.stateofthenation.gov.za/employment-stimulus-dashboard.

National Youth Development Agency

The National Youth Development Agency addresses challenges faced by SA’s youth, offering grant and voucher programmes to help young entrepreneurs to access financial and non-financial business development support.

For more information, visit www.nyda.gov.za/index.html.

Learning opportunities and bursaries

SA’s sector education and training authorities (SETAs) provide career guidance and offer learnerships and bursaries.

For contact details for each SETA, visit http://www.dhet.gov.za/SitePages/SETAlinks.aspx. Opportunities are published on each SETA’s website.

Government departments also offer bursaries and other assistance to the youth. To view available opportunities, visit each department’s website.

Youth Challenge Fund

The Youth Challenge Fund aims to stimulate the establishment and growth of youth-owned businesses, promote digital skills, grow the economy and foster job creation.

For more information, visit www.dsbd.gov.za/programme/youth-challenge-fund.

Industrial Development Corporation

The Industrial Development Corporation funds black-owned and empowered companies, black industrialists and women and youth-owned and empowered enterprises.

For more information, visit www.idc.co.za.

Youth Employment Service

The YES 12-month quality work experience programme equips unemployed youth with a toolkit to be a beacon of hope for their families, households and communities.

The initiative has created over 75 055 opportunities and funnelled over R4.2-billion into the economy.

The initiative has a variety of hubs that assist in upskilling the youth, including:

  • Digitate Lab, which offers digital learning programmes.
  • Green Engine Aquaponics and Farming, which teaches youth about urban agriculture and how to sell their produce.
  • Drone Academy, where candidates are taught how to repair, operate and fly drones to provide services to key sectors of the economy.
  • Culinary Academy, which offers chef training and entrepreneurial development.
  • Textile Manufacturing Centre, which trains, upskills and connects seamstresses, manufacturers and networks to develop and find retail markets for their products.
  • Sanitary Pad Production, which manufactures and markets compostable sanitary pads.

Participants who register at the hubs are offered access to networks, training, markets, work opportunities, ideas for careers and new businesses and partner support.

For more information, visit https://yes4youth.co.za/hubs.

SA Youth

SA Youth, launched on Youth Day last year (2021), saw eight government departments forming a network to support young people to find pathways into the economy.

It is a free and zero-rated national platform that connects talented and engaged work-seekers to various opportunities, including YES, full-time jobs, part-time jobs, learnerships, volunteering and learning opportunities.

To register, visit https://sayouth.datafree.co/Home/Index/EN.