Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga announced that her department has created jobs for thousands of youth in South Africa.
The minister said this was done through the Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI) introduced in 2020 as part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus.
“As part of a battery of measures to draw young people into the economy, we have, through the Education Employment Initiative (BEEI), employed 320 000 unemployed youth as education and general education assistants,
“These young people were placed in public schools across the country to assist teachers in the classroom as they fought against the new challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative used the direct public investment to create employment opportunities and provide support to workers negatively impacted by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Minister said.
The BEEI received R 7 billion funding with R2.4 billion being used to save existing posts in public and independent schools.
“A large slice of this, just over R4 billion, was deployed to create job opportunities for unemployed youth in the basic education sector. Just one percent was allocated towards training, and another one percent of the public employment investment was paid to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for each youth employed in the Education Employment Initiative.
Phase 1 of the initiative came to an end in April 2021, and the Minister has revealed that phase 2 is in the works.
The National Treasury is involved in these talks, as more money will be needed to fund the second phase of the initiative.
“As a sector, we are also supporting the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention that creates new pathways into employment for our young people. It ensures that the youth gain the right skills, start their own businesses, and get into good jobs,” the Minister said.