Presidential Employment Stimulus Hailed As A Success


The Presidential Employment Stimulus has been found to have made remarkable progress since its introduction. This has particularly been the case for the Basic Education Employment Initiative, the biggest component of the stimulus.



Launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, 
the presidential employment stimulus has managed to support roughly 1 million young people through the provision of employment opportunities.

The programme is subdivided into multiple programmes, with the largest being the Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI). Which temporarily employs young people as general and teaching assistants in schools nationwide.

The programme is set to begin its fourth phase which will see an additional 100,000 candidates begin their duties at the start of May. This will amount to over 250 000 young people placed in schools for this year.

For 72% of those in the school programme, it was their first work experience. The programme is massively oversubscribed, as 1,5 million people applied for the 255,000 total school assistant posts throughout the 2023 intake.

The PES programme leader, Kate Philip goes on to say that the programme has had a large reach in contrast to other programmes that form part of the presidential employment stimulus.

It's very rare for employment programs to reach quite that level of scale and are reaching all the most marginalized areas at the same time. A key feature of that program is that there's almost a one-to-one mentorship with teachers. The program recently in research was given a 93% approval rating by teachers which is also quite unusual.

This is a positive outlook, as the programme is meant to address the lack of work experience that tends to be a barrier to entry into the country’s job market. 

Project Lead at Youth Capital Kristal Duncan-Williams, adds that the PES does indeed contribute to addressing the burden of work experience for candidates that make use of their network to seek employment opportunities.

So far, nearly 600 000 candidates have passed through the programme as teaching assistants. Youth Capital also conducted a survey into the viability of the programme and found that schools have been able to properly train teaching assistants in cases where they were well prepared to recruit candidates.  

Philip has also called for additional direct investment into the PES programme to further address youth unemployment and expand the progress made by the programme.

This, according to the project’s leader, would make the PES and other accompanying programs more inclusive as the issue of youth unemployment persists.

Suggested Article:

former teacher assistants signing UIF claim benefit forms

The Unemployment Insurance Fund kicked off its campaign to make payouts to previous participants of the Basic Education Employment initiative in November 2022, and to date, more than 17 000 teacher assistants have received their UIF claim benefits.





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