The Basic Education Presidential Youth Employment Stimulus, which has created over 300 000 jobs opportunities, has been implemented successfully.
According to the Department of Basic Education (DBE), the programme, which commenced in December 2020, has been welcomed by all stakeholders.
Meanwhile, the department said over 25 950 School Governing Body (SGB) funded posts in public and government-subsidised independent schools were saved.
“These posts came under threat due to schools experiencing financial distress, as a result of parents not being able to pay school fees because of the economic devastation of COVID-19,” the department explained.
In addition, the sector created employment opportunities for 319 091 Education and General Education Assistants between the ages of 18 and 35.
The initiative aims to use direct public investment to create opportunities for employment and support workers negatively impacted by the pandemic ends on 31 March 2021.
The department said over 868 000 applications were received from young people when the initiative was started.
Of the 300 000 successful candidates, 200 000 were Education Assistants and 100 000 were General School Assistants.
The DBE said the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator helped with the recruitment processes in seven of the nine provinces, through the SAYouth.mobi site.
“An added benefit of using the SAYouth.mobi site is that it can match job seekers to additional employment opportunities, in line with their interests and qualifications.”
The department believes the mobile site is a key component of the National Pathway Management Network.
The primary objective of the programme is to allow young people to acquire skills such as Information Communication Technology, administration, reading, plumbing, painting and work ethics, among others, to improve their employability.
The department said the Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI) was funded to the tune of R7 billion, of which R6.9 billion was distributed to provinces as an equitable share.
The lion’s share, R 4.47 billion, was targeted towards providing employment opportunities for the youth, of which 1% was allocated towards training, while 1% went towards the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for each employed youth.
Meanwhile, the DBE said it has been working with the provincial Education Departments to ensure that all stipends are paid.
“The steps taken include engaging with provincial Chief Finance Officers to ensure that all administrative challenges are addressed.”
The three provinces that hired over 50 000 youth affected by delayed payment of stipends were the Eastern Cape, KwaZulu-Natal and Limpopo.
“Delays in payment in some areas were due to the capturing of the Education and General Education Assistants onto the government payment system, the persal or incorrect banking and incomplete personal documentation.”
The department said the value of the programme has been acknowledged by both school principals and educators, who were able to focus their efforts on supporting learners.