The PYEI has launched a revitalised National Youth Service. The NYS offers young people opportunities to gain insights into different fields of work, strengthen their agency, skills and self-confidence, and increase their employability. The NYS also allows young people to support development and service delivery in their communities and contribute to a democratic society. The NYS is led by the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) through the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA).
The revised model for NYS builds on experience gained through similar initiatives in the past. Using just 16 hours of the participant’s time per week, the NYS leaves them with room to explore further opportunities for training, employment or entrepreneurship during their term of service. This eases the transition into follow-on activities. A strong focus on the principles of youth development empowers participants to reflect on their future and take practical steps towards achieving their goals. All NYS participants receive stipends, providing them with the experience of earning their own money – potentially for the first time in their lives.
The NYS supports service delivery efforts and improves the lives of marginalised communities. It prioritises focus areas that benefit children and young people at large. These include sports; entertainment and arts; the restoration and maintenance of public spaces used by young people; support to early childhood development and school learners and the promotion of antenatal care and child nutrition.
Opportunities for NYS are offered by established, not-for-profit organisations that are rooted in the communities they serve. Participation in the NYS is open to all young people aged between 18 and 35 who are interested in delivering quality services and are willing to serve for a period of six months. The NYS is providing 50,000 service opportunities in the 2022/23 financial year.
As a young person, register on SAYouth.mobi, access Employment Services of South Africa (ESSA), the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system or check out the Kheta career advice portal. You can also download the mPowa app. Here, you can build your profile and access opportunities in your vicinity for youth service, further learning or work. If you cannot access SAYouth.mobi, look for a DEL Labour Centre or NYDA Youth Office near you. You can also call the toll-free hotline at 0800 72 72 72.
As a service organisation, visit the website of The Jobs Fund to learn more about the requirements to apply as a partner of the NYS and upcoming funding rounds.