Panel 7: Unemployment and active labour market policies

P7.1 Lessons from the Jobs Fund

Najwah Allie-Edries, National Treasury

Summary: The objective of the Jobs Fund is to co-finance and test innovative approaches to employment creation, and to share successful models for organisations and government to adopt as part of their mainstream strategy. Exploring some of the current gaps in labour market interventions and the Jobs fund experience of implementing a range of job creation models over 8 years, this commentary and outlines potential policy considerations in the job creation landscape.

"The design of models which train unemployed youth in preparation for placements with employers must be in response to the skills gaps and employment opportunities identified by employers."

- Najwah Allie-Edries, National Treasury

"The design of models which train unemployed youth in preparation for placements with employers must be in response to the skills gaps and employment opportunities identified by employers."

- Najwah Allie-Edries, National Treasury

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P7.2 Youth Employment Service (YES)

Tashmia Ismail, YES

Summary: The Youth Employment Service (YES) was established to support and drive the employability of unemployed youth in South Africa via a demand-side initiative. The writer explains how digital solutions,along with other key factors have played a critical role in the impact achieved by YES. This commentary also explores some of the challenges faced by YES and explains the importance of coordinated policy implementation and incentives that can stimulate increased participation of businesses in the programme.

“Youth are getting left further behind with few bridging mechanisms to create paths from failed schooling into economic participation… a sobering 56% of youth entering the labour force each year do so without a matric certificate.”

– Tashmia Ismail, YES

“Youth are getting left further behind with few bridging mechanisms to create paths from failed schooling into economic participation… a sobering 56% of youth entering the labour force each year do so without a matric certificate.”

– Tashmia Ismail, YES

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P7.3 The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention – Five Priority Actions to Accelerate Youth Pathways into the Economy Over the Next Five Years

Rudi Dicks, Presidency

Summary: The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention is designed to effectively transition young people into the labour market. It is intended to coordinate and scale up existing youth employment programmes across government, in close partnership with the private sector.There are five priority actions that will be implemented over five years to achieve this objective. These include supporting the township and rural economy and providing opportunities for workplace experience. This commentary explores how this intervention is different from past government programmes, and the specific targeted outcomes that will be achieved.

“Youth unemployment is a national crisis that demands urgent, innovative and coordinated solutions. The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention is a direct response to the challenge that too many young people are not transitioning from learning to earning."

– Rudi Dicks, Presidency

“Youth unemployment is a national crisis that demands urgent, innovative and coordinated solutions. The Presidential Youth Employment Intervention is a direct response to the challenge that too many young people are not transitioning from learning to earning."

– Rudi Dicks, Presidency

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P7.4 The Role of Employment Programmes

Dr Morné Oosthuizen, University of Cape Town

Summary: Employment programmes have a critical role to play in the South African context, and ongoing evaluation of the impact of these programmes is necessary to ensure policy makers make better informed policy and design choices. This commentary discusses the details and development of the Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) in South Africa, explores global evidence on the use and effectiveness of employment programmes and states the need for a deeper and more robust assessment of the impacts of the EPWP.

"In the current context of constrained fiscal resources, it is crucial that we are able to carefully evaluate the benefits of government interventions in relation to their costs."

- Dr Morné Oosthuizen, University of Cape Town

"In the current context of constrained fiscal resources, it is crucial that we are able to carefully evaluate the benefits of government interventions in relation to their costs."

- Dr Morné Oosthuizen, University of Cape Town

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P7.5 Reflections on the Margins: A Framework for Growth, Work and Market Linkages in the Informal Sector

Ayabonga Cawe, Xesibe Holdings

Summary: In South Africa, with high unemployment numbers, deindustrialisation and inequality, activities in the informal sector remain a crucial livelihood source. This commentary explores constraints, such as barriers to entry and locational challenges to the growth of informal sector economic activity. Moreover, it explores some of the structural features of the informal sector that prevent it from playing its ‘mop-up’ role as outlined int he literature. It also touches on key opportunities such as growing transport and niche retail sectors for promoting employment within the informal sector.

"Firstly, policy ought to rethink enterprise support beyond the notion of a business as a legal entity, but rather consider these activities as human endeavours worth support."

- Ayabonga Cawe, Xesibe Holdings

"Firstly, policy ought to rethink enterprise support beyond the notion of a business as a legal entity, but rather consider these activities as human endeavours worth support."

- Ayabonga Cawe, Xesibe Holdings

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