Thousands of young people have benefitted from the government’s youth employment initiative since its introduction. However, this might no longer be the case for other young people who have been hopeful to be appointed in the next phases of the teaching assistant initiative.
In Phase I of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) more than 280 000 young people were successfully recruited and placed in schools across the country.
With more and more young people receiving employment in all three phases of the initiative, the Education Department has shared that it has received good feedback from the youth, teachers, and principals about the impact that this initiative continues to make in schools.
In a statement, Department of Basic Education (DBE) spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga announced:
The Education Department has taken a decision to close new appointments of assistants or replacements should a vacancy arise after 15 June 2022.
With Phase III fast approaching its end date of 31 August 2022, Mhlanga explained that this decision has been made to ensure stability in schools. It also takes the winter holidays scheduled from 24 June 2022 to 16 July 2022 into consideration, as there will be less than 7 weeks of Phase III remaining when schools re-open for the third quarter.
While preparations for the 2022 preliminary matric examinations will be underway during this time, there won’t be enough time to provide new appointees with the necessary orientation and training to gain meaningful work experience.
This initiative has not only helped drop the youth unemployment rate but also has helped in providing skills for its participants. According to Mhlanga, one of the objectives of the youth initiative is to provide beneficiaries with skills and competencies that will enhance their prospects for future employment.
Hence, the department has training offerings with its partners (Digify Africa, NEMISA, 2Enable, Pinnock Consulting, and eCubed). It is for this reason that the Education Department has urged schools to make full use of the wide range of skills and talents that the Assistants will offer to schools, especially in areas that will strengthen administrative functioning, the provision of ICT support as well as general assistance with the upkeep of the school environment.