Western Cape PAY Project Creates Nearly 500 Jobs

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As youth unemployment worsens in South Africa, 500 youth from the Western Cape have been offered internship opportunities by the provincial government. 


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It is estimated that Youth aged 15-24 years recorded the highest unemployment rate in the country with a staggering 66.5%. Around 3.4 million out of 10.2 million young people aged 15-24 years were not in employment, education or training (NEET).

In the Western Cape, one initiative introduced to tackle youth unemployment in the province is the Premier’s Advancement of Youth (PAY) Project. 

The programme provides matriculants between the ages of 17 and 24 with work experience and training within one of the 13 Western Cape Government Departments from 1 April 2022 until 31 March 2023.

In 2022, more than 1900 individuals submitted applications to be part of the project with around 492 being employed as interns. 

The 12-month internship will see participants placed in Western Cape Government departments and will be provided with exposure to administrative and support tasks. The programme will aim to prepare the interns for the world of work. 

Here Are The 3 Phases Of The Pay Project

  • Phase 1: Interns will complete the ‘Work Readiness Training programme’ which includes modules focusing on the structures of government, PAY Interns and the Western Cape Government, and Personal Development. The latter focuses particularly on time management, exploring work opportunities, and personal finance.
  • Phase 2: interns will then proceed to complete the ‘The Work Readiness Training programme’ which covers ‘Understanding Myself’. This module focuses on emotional intelligence, teamwork, etiquette, communication, effective written communication, customer care and ethics, duties of support staff, mentoring, discipline and stress management; and
  • Interns will further complete the ‘Compulsory Skills Training Programme’ which includes modules on resilience, career guidance, introduction to project management, and digital literacy.

A former participant in the programme said the programme is making a meaningful difference in the lives of youth and empowering them. She encouraged youth to apply when the next round of admissions opens in January 2023. 

Qualifying criteria:

Applicants must be...

  • 24 years old or younger.
  • wrote and passed the National Senior Certificate (NSC) in the Western Cape.
  • not going to study further in the year they are applying to be part of the PAY project. 
  • South African citizen, residing in the Western Cape.
  • have no network or support to help you make informed career choices and not sure about their next step after school
  • From a financially constrained household income of less than R350,000 per annum. 

Several other programmes have been introduced to combat the alarming youth unemployment rate in the country. The Presidential Employment Stimulus Programme (PESP) is just one employment initiative to try to lessen the worsening crisis. 

During the State Of The Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa said that approximately 850 000 people were provided with employment opportunities through the PESP program. 

The president added that 80% of the beneficiaries of the employment stimulus programme were young people and more than 60% of the beneficiaries were women. 

 

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