23 October 2018

South Africa: Public Works Expands Creation of Work and Training Opportunities

press release

As a commitment to the government's successful 2018 Job Summit, the National Department of Public Works (NDPW) will continue to work with all role players in the public, business, labour and community space to expand the creation of work and training opportunities through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

In its contribution to the Presidential Job Summit Framework Agreement that was signed by the government, business, community and labour organisations at the 2018 Government Job Summit in Johannesburg, the department has committed to strengthen and expand the roll-out of some of the key EPWP projects to drive the creation of work and training opportunities for the poor and unemployed South Africans.

The Deputy Director General (DDG) of EPWP in NDPW, Mr Stanley Henderson explained that some of the key EPWP projects that will be bolstered to drive the creation of work and training opportunities for the unemployed South Africans include the National Youth Service (NYS), the Youth Environmental Services (YES), the Vuk'uphile Contractor Learnership Programme and Working for Water programmes.

"There are a range of interventions we are looking at and these include ways to work with business to increase the placement of our participants in workplaces, ensure that training provided to participants is linked with the demand of the private sector as well as getting the private sector involved in our Vuk'uphile Contractor Learnership Programme by providing mentorship to the learner contractors," DDG Henderson explained.

Mr Henderson said another valuable contribution by the department to the Job Summit Framework Agreement to drive the creation of work opportunities for the unemployed is to introduce new initiatives. "We are looking at introducing a new EPWP initiative to assist in the monitoring and evaluation of the Programme on the ground through social audits. The work opportunities created through this new initiative will be specifically for young people."

Mr Henderson added that the government will continue to work with business, labour organisations and community to find new ways to improve the EPWP.

Brief Background of the EPWP

The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) is one of government's medium to long term strategies to reduce unemployment and alleviate poverty through the creation of work opportunities using labour-intensive methods. The EPWP is implemented in four sectors namely: Infrastructure, Social, Environment & Culture and Non-State. All spheres of government and State-Owned Entities are expected to implement the Programme.

The EPWP Participants (beneficiaries) work in different projects such as Community Work Programme (CWP), Early Childhood Development Programmes, Home Community Based Care Programmes, Extra School Support Programmes, Working on Fire, Working for Water, Roads Maintenance Projects, etc.

Through various skills and training that the participants receive from the EPWP, they (participants) stand a better chance to enter the formal job market and/or become entrepreneurs.

Issued by: Department of Public Works

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