I am pleased to announce that the Western Cape Education Department (WCED) has launched a three-year project to employ nearly 10 000 unemployed matriculants as interns, or school assistants, in no-fee schools across the province.
Statement by Minister Debbie Schäfer, Minister of Education
With an unemployment rate of almost 26% in South Africa, creating job opportunities is undoubtedly one of the most pressing socio-economic challenges facing us as a country.
A better educated and more highly skilled workforce is the most pressing long-term priority for the South African economy and for the Western Cape Government.
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 Western Cape Department of Local Government (DLG) has signed an agreement with the National Treasury Jobs Fund to finance the project.
The DLG has appointed Casidra, a non-profit organisation, to implement the project in collaboration with the WCED.
The WCED and Casidra will employ a variety of implementing partners to help train and place the school assistants.
The partners will train and place just over 1 600 school assistants during the first phase of the project, from July 2016.
The Western Cape School Support Programme will expose 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.
The WCED is looking in particular for young people who can support two of the province’s “game-changer” programmes, namely, the eLearning and After-Schools programmes.
The department plans to place 963 matriculants in 321 schools during the first phase of the eLearning programme, to proide IT technical support, administration and teacher assistance.
The WCED also plans to place about 540 matriculants in each of the province’s 180 after-school programmes. They will assist administration, after-school academic support, and sport and cultural activities.
A further 100 matriculants will support food garden development and coaching.
Feedback from schools regarding the initiative has been most positive, with schools indicating their excitement to have an additional set of hands to assist with these tasks.
The programme, supported by the Jobs Fund, plans to place 9 936 young people over a three-year period, according to the current estimates.
The programme will offer employment for six or 10-month periods at no-fee schools, depending on the tasks involved.
The interns will receive stipends of R1 500 a month.
About 500 schools will benefit over the three-year period.
The programme has set a target for permanent employment of at least 2 982 participants, representing 30% of the total intake.
The schools will have selected three candidates from the applicants, preferably living close to the school, by 10 June.
The schools are expected to mentor the school assistants, provide training where necessary, and manage their daily programmes, while the assistants will focus on areas that complement and support the work of teachers, thus releasing teachers to focus on their teaching.
The schools will also provide space and facilities for the programme’s activities, as required. The principal will be the main point of contact for the programme in the school.
The participating schools will 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.
HOW TO APPLY
Candidates can apply via the WCED web site at wced.school.za Click Here to School Internship Programme.