Youth employed at schools under the Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI) have just over two months left in their posts. Phase four of the BEEI is set to conclude at the end of September 2023.
The Department of Basic Education (DBE) estimates that more than one million employment and training opportunities for young people were created through the four phases of the Basic Education Employment Initiative.
What is the Basic Education Employment Initiative (BEEI)?
Young people were employed in schools across the country as education and general school assistants. In Phase IV, the focus was on providing youth with soft and hard skills needed for the workforce.
Youth worked as Curriculum Assistants, Reading Champions, E-Cadres, Care and Support Assistants, Sports and Enrichment Assistants, and Handymen/Women.
Youth were paid a stipend of R4,081.44 per month which is aligned with the legislated minimum wage threshold. The initiative has been crucial in creating employment opportunities for unemployed youth living in South Africa.
The unemployment rate is currently 63,9% for those individuals aged 15 to 24 years old living in South Africa.
In addition to the stipend, youth were also encouraged to participate in compulsory training courses. These training courses aimed to equip youth with valuable skills needed to succeed in the South African labour market.
Youth received a comprehensive training course focused on various aspects of the digital world and its impact on the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and digitisation. In addition, training courses covered essential topics such as digital literacy, online privacy, fact-checking, and advocacy for change.
Participants also gained valuable insights into Microsoft Office, cybersecurity, and digital technology. Some of these courses were accredited courses and were free for youth to participate in. The DBE also facilitated The PYEI-BEEI entrepreneurial Training which gave youth information on learning, earning and entrepreneurial opportunities.
What's Next For Youth?
The DBE has encouraged youth to sign up for the “What’s Next” five week programme. Youth who sign up will gain access to information on how to make their own money and find new opportunities.
UIF For Teaching Assistants
Youth employed under the BEEI are eligible to receive Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) benefits as they previously contributed to the UIF while they were working. Their UIF contributions were deducted from their monthly remuneration before being paid into their bank accounts.