7 December 2012

South Africa: Department of Labour Plans to Raise R1-Billion to Pilot Employment Schemes - Pes Ddg Morotoba

press release

The Department of Labour's (DoL) Public Employment Service (PES) branch is planning to raise R1-billion to pilot the employment schemes concept as outlined in the Employment Services Bill.

Department of Labour Deputy Director-General Sam Morotoba told a departmental workshop held in Muldersdrift, Gauteng today (December 6) that nine DOL Provincial project plans have been developed and are in a process of being finalized. The proposals will be submitted to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and Compensation Fund (CF) to commit funding towards the project. Morotoba said the employment schemes would also look at tapping into the Jobs Fund.

The UIF and CF are public entities of the Department of Labour. UIF provides cushion to the unemployed, whereas CF provides cover for workers injured or diseases sustained during work.

According to Morotoba, the employment scheme plan arose following the recent successful hosting by the Department of Labour of national Jobs Fairs and Jobs Summits that were held nationally. The Jobs Fairs were an initiative of the Department of Labour to help contribute to the challenge of Job creation.

Through the initiative, using its Electronic System South Africa (ESSA), the department had managed to date, to register about two million job seekers. Thousands of these job seekers were provided with employment counseling, successful placement in jobs, referrals to training and to other DOL services.

To date the Public Employment Service had managed to register 288 135 job seekers on ESSA system. A 50% of those work-seekers were profiled within 60 days of registration. In the past six months 6 273 work-seekers were placed and 167 232 were referred to opportunities and other services.

"We have managed to develop and implement a plan to take advantage of the job and training offers by private/public institutions that participated in the Jobs Summit/Fairs," Morotoba said.

DoL had meeting with the Department of Higher Education and Training to form relations and this has resulted in the Departments ability to refer identified job seekers to Department of Higher Education and Training for (DHET) for training.

"The employment schemes target groups will include registered unemployed, discouraged workers, retrenched, beneficiaries of UIF/CF, people with disabilities and people between the ages of between 16-55," Morotoba said.

According to Morotoba some of the key element of the employment scheme is that: it must address or respond to specific social problems and contribute to poverty alleviation.

In addition the schemes must not lead to displacement of existing workers, must translate into income that is slightly higher than social grant, must have a social security component (UI/CF contributions), social partners must be consulted, the schemes may include education, skills development and life skills components, there must be clearly articulated exit strategies that facilitates entry into formal employment or self-employment, cooperatives or small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), the schemes must have time frames that are between a year and three years, the scheme objective must be clearly defined, and that the scheme must be clearly costed.

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