In a bid to mitigate the high unemployment rate among young people in South Africa, the Department of Employment and Labour and the National Treasury's Jobs Fund have announced the opening of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI)'s National Pathway Management Network (NPMN) Innovation Fund funding round.
This is in response to the call by President Cyril Ramaphosa who demanded urgent, innovative and coordinated solutions to the unemployment rate among the youth.
The NPMN is a “network of networks” aimed at facilitating the successful transition of young people into and through the labour market.
The NPMN will provide active support to the entry, and retention of young people into the labour market while providing greater alignment between the various networks and systems that exist to ensure access to a shared set of opportunities and services.
The fund forms part of the comprehensive plan, driven and coordinated from the Presidency, to create no fewer than two million new jobs for young people within the next decade.
In a statement on Thursday, the Department of Employment and Labour said that the PYEI has identified several priority interventions to accelerate youth pathways into the economy over the next five years.
“This includes the establishment of a National Pathway Management Network (NPMN), delivery of agile workforce development (including skills development interventions and the strengthening of workplace experience), support for youth self-employment and enterprise in the township and rural economy and the Presidential Youth Service programme,” the department said.
Various partners across government will be responsible for implementing the different components of the PYEI.
The Department of Employment and Labour (DEL) will be responsible for the National Pathway Management Network and the Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC) / Jobs Fund which has been appointed as the Fund Manager for PYEI.
“Unemployment in our country has reached a critical state and with this intervention, we are putting shoulder to wheel and responding positively to the clear line of march by the President. We are also intentionally targeting this to the youth who constitute the biggest percentage of unemployed people in our country,” Employment and Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi said.
Part of the NPMN initiative is the creation of an Innovation Fund, a grant initiative seeking to identify and support innovative solutions to the barriers faced by young people to meaningfully participating in the labour market and the wider economy.
Challenge Fund principles
Operating on Challenge Fund principles, the NPMN Innovation Fund - which has been seeded with an amount of R71,871,715 - will support initiatives focussed on resolving barriers related to the three key focus areas of the NPMN:
- Demand Activation: Identify appropriate opportunities for young people through establishing real market demand and developing enabling partnerships within the wider ecosystem.
- Demand & Supply Linkages: Link young people to appropriate opportunities with Opportunity Holders through a streamlined process that effectively matches young person to Opportunity Holder across the networks.
- Enabling Youth: Improve young people’s access to view and secure both learning and earning opportunities available in the market/ network.
The department said that the Innovation Fund will assist in capacitating successful applicants to pilot and/or operationalise and scale innovative models across the country in support of the NPMN.
SA invited to participate in PYEI
As the Fund Manager for the PYEI, the Jobs Fund invites proposals from private, public, and non-profit entities that can participate in the National Pathway Management Network via the Innovation Fund.
Applications must demonstrate how the proposed project will contribute to achieving scale in terms of expanding geographical footprint, partnering with more organisations, and (or) working with young people.
At a minimum, applicants and applications must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:
- In the case of an NPO (NGO, CBO or FBO), such organisation must have been registered with the Department of Social Development on or before 1 January 2018 (all requisite certificates and proof of registration will be required).
- For-Profit Private Sector Applicants must be registered with the Department of Employment of Labour in terms of the regulations related to the Employment Services Act No 4 of 2014.
- Public Entities applying for funding are subject to all applicable eligibility criteria. In addition, the proposed initiative must be distinguished from other similar initiatives previously or currently being funded with public funds.
- Must be in full compliance with administrative requirements (including Tax Compliance Status).
- Must have audited Annual Financial Statements (AFS) covering at least 3 years.
- Must have a track record of more than three years of technical experience in the area of interest.
- Demonstrate the capacity to actively support the entry and retention of young people into the labour market by demonstrating one or all of the following: (1) the ability to meaningfully activate demand, (2) access young people (aged 18 to 35) and (3) the ability to appropriately match and pathway young people to equitably access opportunities.
- The NPMN Innovation Fund will make funding available as follows:
- The minimum grant request available per Applicant is R3 million;
- The maximum grant request available per Applicant is R15 million;
- Minimum Cash Matched funding requirements are as follows:
- Government Institutions 1: 0.5
- Non-Governmental Institutions and other NPOs 1: 0.5
- Private Sector Applicants 1: 1
For more information on the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention and the application process for the NPMN Innovation Fund, interested entities are urged to visit the Jobs Fund website to access the full Innovation Fund Term Sheet and follow this link to access application form: www.jobsfund.org.za