The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI) was launched in response to South Africa’s job crisis and forms an integral part of the government’s post-COVID-19 recovery agenda.
The intervention focuses on youth as this demographic was the hardest hit by the pandemic. According to the World Bank, the pandemic worsened unemployment among young adults and is twice as high among young people as among older age groups. “Among 15–24-year-olds, 63% are unemployed and looking for work, whereas among 25–34-year-olds, this rate reaches 41%.”
PYEI is a multi-sector action plan working to address South Africa’s chronic youth unemployment challenge. It seeks to increase the number of earning opportunities created for youth and includes a range of priority actions to boost youth employment
The intervention forms part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES) which is the country’s largest public employment programme. PES was launched in response to the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on employment.
The primary focus of PYEI is to coordinate, enhance, and scale up existing programmes across government and through close partnerships with the private sector.
It is designed to effectively transition young people into the labour market through some of the following interventions – help young people to gain work experience,;link them to jobs, and entrepreneurship and skills development opportunities.
During the first five years of the programme it’s expected to create 1.5 million temporary, paid work opportunities and 500 000 young people to be engaged in sustainable work opportunities.
As outlined in ‘The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention – Five Priority Actions to Accelerate Youth Pathways into the Economy Over the Next Five Years’, the PYEI has identified several priority interventions to accelerate youth pathways into the economy over the next five years, including:
– The establishment of a National Pathway Management Network where work-seekers can view and access available learning and work opportunities, and receive a range of support services.
– Delivery of Agile Workforce Development that allows young people to develop the capabilities required to take up new opportunities in growth sectors.
– Support the Township and Rural Economy to enable self-employment and enterprise. Direct enterprise support and financing to be provided by the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) and its agencies.
– Providing opportunities for Workplace Experience through the Youth Employment Service. Student enrolled in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges can access work-integrated learning to complete their qualifications and enter the workplace.
– Revitalising the National Youth Service to create opportunities for young people to meaningfully contribute to their communities, develop critical skills required to participate effectively in the economy, build confidence and expand their networks and social capital.
Partners and stakeholders
Various partners across government will be responsible for implementing the different components of the PYEI, including:
- The National Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) is responsible for the National Pathway Management Network
- The NYDA is responsible for the National Youth Service (NYS) programme and the Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) / Jobs Fund is the Fund Manager for PYEI
The PYEI is supported by Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator, the Department of Higher Education and Training, and the Development Bank of South Africa. The PYEI also partners with organisations.