More Than 1 Million PYEI Teacher Assistants Placed


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Youth unemployment remains a serious problem in South Africa, with nearly half of individuals aged 15 to 35 unemployed. To combat this issue, the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) was launched in 2019 by the South African government aimed at creating sustainable employment opportunities for young people.


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The primary objective of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) is to transition young people from learning to earning. This is achieved by leveraging the strengths of various government institutions and social partners to create more opportunities for youth.

The PYEI integrates with other initiatives coordinated by the Project Management Office in the Presidency to drive structural reforms and enable job creation.

Achievements of the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES)

Launched as part of the economic recovery from Covid-19, the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES) provides funding for several PYEI components and directly creates youth employment opportunities. Over the past three years, PES has successfully created over 1.7 million work opportunities.

More than 1 million school assistants have been placed in 23,000 schools, offering valuable work experience while enhancing educational outcomes. School principals and teachers across the country have praised the programme's benefits, highlighting its support for both educational staff and young people entering the workforce.

The Role of SAYouth.mobi

A key component of the PYEI is the SAYouth.mobi platform, a zero-rated site that facilitates access to learning and earning opportunities for unemployed youth. By signing up on SAYouth.mobi, young people can connect to a range of opportunities, including full-time and part-time jobs, learnerships, volunteering, and learning programmes.

With over 4.3 million participants, the platform has helped 1.6 million youth secure opportunities, demonstrating its significant impact on addressing youth unemployment.

Collaborative Efforts and Additional programmes

President Cyril Ramaphosa emphasised the importance of collaborative efforts between the government and entities like the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in implementing initiatives such as the National Youth Service and the Youth Employment Service.

The PYEI’s National Pathway Management Network also assists in the implementation of PES programmes, while Operation Vulindlela aims to address structural barriers to job creation. 

Government reports indicate that the PYEI has made notable strides in providing workplace experience and enterprise support, creating 115,698 workplace experience opportunities and 149,371 enterprise support opportunities, critical for equipping young people with essential skills and entrepreneurship opportunities.

Impact of the National Pathway Management Network

By March 2024, more than 4.4 million users had registered on the SA Youth platform, with an additional 2.7 million people registered on the Employment Services of South Africa (ESSA) platform. Over 1.3 million of these were earning opportunities, including 203,183 through ESSA, with 70% of these opportunities going to women.

The PYEI’s demand-led skilling initiatives, supported by the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and various partners, have created 115,698 workplace experience opportunities and 149,371 enterprise support opportunities, 17% of which are financial and 83% non-financial.

The revitalised National Youth Service has provided 68,195 paid service opportunities, with 67% of participants being female and 33% male, promoting civic engagement and offering valuable work experience. The Youth Employment Service (YES) programme has facilitated 74,792 workplace experience opportunities, further proving PYEI’s effectiveness in creating meaningful employment pathways.

Local ecosystem enablement efforts, driven by the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD) and the NYDA, have also played a significant role in combating youth unemployment. The DSBD provided financial support to 19,383 young people and non-financial support to 25,803, while the NYDA supported 6,486 young people financially and 97,699 with non-financial assistance.

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