The Western Cape Education Department has made preparations to employ 10,000 jobless matriculants over the next three years.
The department revealed this declaring its three years project to employe about 10 000 unemployed matriculants as interns, or school assistants, in no-fee schools across the province. This according to the department is to help reduce the country’s unemployment rate.
“With an unemployment rate of almost 26 percent in South Africa, creating job opportunities is undoubtedly one of the most pressing socio-economic challenges facing us as a country,” Education MEC Debbie Schäfer said on Sunday.
She said the recruitment will also give the matriculants, who will work as school assistants, exposure to different career paths.
“This program was exposed the school assistants to a range of potential careers from IT support to teaching, social work, landscape gardening and administration during the duration of the project.”
“We are therefore implementing a number of interventions to help improve the quality of education and in so doing enhance the employability opportunities of our youth.”
The WCED and Casidra would employ a variety of implementing partners to help train and place the school assistants as Western Cape Local Government Department (DLG) had signed an agreement with the National Treasury Jobs Fund to finance the project.
The DLG had appointed Casidra, a non-profit organization, to implement the project in collaboration with the WCED and the partners would train and place just over 1 600 school assistants during the first phase of the project from July 2016, Schäfer said.
The program would offer employment for six- or 10-month periods at no-fee schools, depending on the tasks involved and the interns would receive stipends of R1 500 a month. About 500 schools would benefit over the three-year period.
Meanwhile, the employment program had set a target for permanent employment of at least 2,982 participants, representing 30 percent of the total intake. The schools would have selected three candidates from the applicants, preferably living close to the school, by June 10.
“The schools are expected to mentor the school assistants, provide training where necessary and manage their daily programs, while the assistants will focus on areas that complement and support the work of teachers, thus releasing teachers to focus on their teaching,” she said.
The schools would also provide space and facilities for the program’s activities as required while the school principal mains point of contact for then the school.
The participating schools would sign a memorandum of understanding on roles and responsibilities.
“As a government, we believe that empowering our youth with skills is the best way to ensure that they increase their chances of finding permanent employment. This will contribute to better opportunities and less inequality, which is our vision for South Africa.
“This initiative is just another way that the Western Cape government is empowering our learners to obtain a fulfilling job and contribute to the economy, thus also giving them dignity,” Schäfer said.
Interested candidates can apply via the WCED website at wced.school.za