Students from the Faculty of Economics and Finance attended the dialogue in numbers to hear more about new employment initiatives that will assist graduates when applying for jobs in future and to have their questions answered.
Minister Dlodlo commended newly elected TUT Council member and convener of an initiative, Step into the New Era, Pakhiso Motau, for the role he played in facilitating the Minister’s Dialogue. “He is one of a group of students who established this organsisation and who approached DPSA to talk about initiatives that could address unemployment,” she explained.
“Today I want to talk about interventions that the Public Service, the biggest employer in the country, is implementing to deal with the high unemployment rate,” she said.
These interventions include a Government recruitment scheme, approved by Cabinet in December 2017 and launched at the University of Johannesburg last year.
“This formal graduate recruitment scheme realises the need for Government to be pro-active not only in creating opportunities, but also to recruit enthusiastic, dedicated young people and develop their skills. Another purpose of the scheme is to address shortages of skilled professionals in the public service, especially in the fields of health, policing, infrastructure planning, engineering, finance and information technology,” she added.
She added that the scheme would enable Government to develop a much-needed pipeline of staff in management. “It is well-known that young people seeking careers in the public service often find it difficult to identify and find a suitable entry point in the system. The introduction of the recruitment scheme will therefore provide a more coherent entry route for young public servants and provide targeted training to help build their skills and professional ethos required by the sector.”
The Minister advised students to visit the DPSA website and start knocking on Government doors to find access opportunities.
In engagements with young people, they raised concerns about unreasonable requirements, such as experience, to seek employed in Government. “We understand that a lack of experience is a big factor that keep them stuck in the unemployment limbo. Experience is not something you can go buy in a store. DPSA therefore also started a review of the current legislation framework pertaining to job applications. The Graduate Employment Scheme will provide a platform for young graduates to acquire required experience required for permanent career paths, thus aid to reduce unemployment over the longer term. Another expected benefit is that it will attract a new vibrancy and innovative young people to the public service,” she said.
The Minister also mentioned that young people complained about the cost of applying with the Z83 form and that they preferred doing everything online. “I asked the department to put together e-job online application system, based on a programme another department has been using successfully. This is a Z83 on steroids – it is accessible on the internet. The benefits of the system are varied. It will be able to tell the applicant what the progress with their application is, whether they have been shortlisted or not, while it also provides a platform for applicants to ask why their applications were not successful,” the Minister continued.
Giving students some common sense advice, Minister Dlodlo warned them about how they portray themselves on social media. “What you put on social media will follow you. As part of our filtering system, we will look into the type of things you say and do on social media. Obviously we don’t want to appoint angry people with a propensity towards crime,” she added.
In conclusion, Prof Polly Mashigo, Ga-Rankuwa Campus Rector, emphasized the importance of Government assisting to create employment opportunities for young graduates.
Explaining what the Faculty of Economics and Finance is all about, Prof Mashigo shared information on how TUT’s Project 2020 ensures the alignment of its programmes both locally and internationally to meet industry standards.