Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi, in his additional capacity as acting Public Service and Administration Minister, has called on government departments and public entities to enrol young people as interns in their establishments.
Nxesi explains how his department prepares young people for the public sector working environment, including through the Breaking Barriers to Entry into the Public Service Programme (BB2E) and the Cadet Programme.
The five-day BB2E course and the 18-month Cadet programme are offered by the National School of Government (NSG) and target unemployed graduates with post-school qualifications, as well as interns in the public sector and statutory bodies.
The BB2E course introduces young people to government and teaches them how to deliver public services, as well as how public funds are administered and managed.
In turn, the Cadet programme is a sister initiative to the BB2E, and seeks to deepen the understanding of the public sector while also covering issues in the broader social entrepreneurial space. It is made up of four courses: The Constitution and Administration of the Public Sector, Ethics in the Public Service, Writing for Government and Personal Mastery.
Particularly, the personal mastery component covers other generic employability skills that are necessary in the workplace for all sectors, including self-management, emotional intelligence, job search skills, problem-solving skills and entrepreneurship.
This new generation of public service workers are trained to make personal interventions to translate policy into action, are responsive and capable of giving their best effort, do not use policy or resource constraints as an excuse for not doing work, are ever-committed to results and meeting public expectations, act in good partnership and network with all stakeholders, and, finally, understand that the blame for the failure of the system should be laid squarely on his or her shoulders.
“The unemployment rate among youth with post-school qualifications is very high in our country. The public service, as the largest employer, has responded to this challenge by enabling unemployed graduates to gain experience through the Public Service Graduate Internship and Learnership Programme.
“In addition to this, the NSG has introduced the BB2E course and the Cadet Programme. The aim is to prepare the unemployed graduates for employment opportunities in the public sector. As we mark National Youth Month, we invite government departments and public entities to enrol the youth in these critical development programmes,” Nxesi says.