By the end of the first quarter in 2023, 44.7% of people between 15 and 34 years of age remained outside of employment, education and training. The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI) is South Africa's most comprehensive effort yet to address this crisis. Its goal is to transition young people successfully from learning to earning. To this end, the intervention brings together the strengths of numerous government institutions and social partners to deliver more opportunities for young people. The PYEI integrates with other interventions coordinated by the Project Management Office in the Presidency to drive structural reforms and enable job creation. The Presidential Employment Stimulus (PES) creates meaningful employment and strengthens livelihoods. It was initiated as part of the economic recovery from the effect of COVID-19, but continues to respond to the ongoing crisis of unemployment. PES provides funding for several PYEI components and directly delivers employment opportunities for youth. In turn, the PYEI’s National Pathway Management Network supports the implementation of PES programmes. Operation Vulindlela addresses the structural barriers that hinder businesses in creating more jobs for young people. In summary, the PYEI seeks to coordinate, accelerate and enhance existing programmes while driving innovation and creating pathways to earning for young people at scale.
Central to the PYEI's efforts is the establishment of a National Pathway Management Network (NPMN) that ensures that young people successfully transition into opportunities that enable and unlock earning pathways. Other PYEI components include:
the enabling of local ecosystems to facilitate self-employment and enterprise opportunities; and
the revitalisation of the National Youth Service (NYS).
Interventions focus on priority growth areas with employment potential for young people. These are: digital, technology and global business services; agriculture; installation repairs and maintenance; social services; and the automotive sector. Implementation progress across all components is monitored continuously.
The PYEI is delivered through a partnership approach. A Project Management Office (PMO) in the Presidency is responsible for overall coordination and strategic oversight. Key government departments lead implementation, and the private sector, academia, development partners and civil society support the different components. The National Treasury allocates funding for PYEI activities. This includes dedicated funding for innovative approaches in key PYEI elements such as the NPMN. In addition, the PYEI improves the alignment of sustainably funded activities across departments (such as those for skills development) to achieve more with existing resources.
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