Over One Million Jobs Created With Youth Employment Initiative

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The annual State Of the Nation Address has come and gone, with President Cyril Ramaphosa touching on key issues plaguing South Africa. One of those concerns is the rising youth unemployment rate. 

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Youth unemployment in the country is a severe crisis, as the unemployment rate stood at 63.9% for those aged 15-24 and 42.1% for those aged 25-34 years, according to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2022. 

The sky-rocketing youth unemployment rate is one of the most pressing issues the country is currently battling that was brought up at this year's State Of the Nation Address (SONA). 

The address took place on Thursday evening, 9 February 2023.

The Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) in the Basic Education Sector aims to provide jobs to South Africa’s young people between the age of 18 and 34 years old, in an effort to alleviate some of the high unemployment levels amongst the youth. 

According to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who spoke about the PYEI in his annual speech, the initiative has created "over 1 million job opportunities, reaching every province and district in our country."

Some of those employed by the PYEI work in schools as teaching and general assistants. Phase Four of the PYEI has officially kicked off for the 2023 academic year.

Last week, a new cohort of 150 000 school assistants started work at more than 22 000 schools, offering dignity, hope and vital work experience to young people who were unemployed.

The data-free online platform, SAYouth.mobi, has been a key player in how the PYEI operates and takes applications, as well as providing unemployed members of the youth updates regarding job opportunities near them. 

Ramaphosa announced that there are now more than 3 million users registered on the platform. 

In addition to the PYEI, the Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES) is also supporting people to earn their own living.

Launched in 2020 by President Cyril Ramaphosa, has delivered over one million opportunities to the South Africans participating in the programme. The PES was created as part of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP), implemented to address the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, through a variety of measures that have been put in place.

Ramaphosa stated last year that school management, teachers and other stakeholders are all in agreeance that school and general assistants employed via the PYEI have improved the learning environment within schools.

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An audit of all the phases of the Presidential Youth Employment Initiative (PYEI) Teacher Assistant Programme by the Auditor-General of South Africa revealed many issues with the implementation of the initiative. 

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