Johannesburg, South Africa – 20 November 2023 – The latest Stats SA Quarterly Labour Force Survey, showed that nearly six million young people are unemployed, representing 43.37% of young people in the labour force and one of the highest rates in the world.
A new initiative has been launched to tackle this chronic problem; Jobs Boost, a R300 million outcomes fund has been designed and launched by research-led consulting house Krutham. The funding covers the first pilot phase and is expected to scale thereafter. The innovative programme, the largest of its kind globally, will work with implementing partners to train unemployed, previously excluded youth and secure sustainable, quality jobs for them.
Part of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI), the Jobs Boost Outcomes Fund is distinct in that it introduces an outcomes-based pay-for-performance model that ensures funds are allocated only upon reaching defined milestones. The National Skills Fund, part of the Department of Higher Education and Training is the sole outcomes funder for the pilot phase.”
The Jobs Boost Outcomes Fund shifts the risk of creating jobs from the public sector to the private sector. The model incentivises our partners to work with employers to ensure that they develop young people who are able thrive in the workplace,” explains Dr Stuart Theobald, founder and executive chairman at Krutham. “Instead of spending on skills development that may or may not lead to a job, the spending is focused on the job itself,” he says.
Traditional approaches to job creation tend to focus on inputs and activities, such as training, workshops, or events. This has resulted in large numbers of youth undergoing skills development but not necessarily finding meaningful work, often because training is not aligned with the needs of employers.
Similarly, work experience programmes have created a revolving door of internships where youth are entered into successive internship programmes, sometimes with meagre remuneration, and still not achieving meaningful work placements.
The funding grants will be released in tranches, based on the achievement of specific milestones verified by an outcomes auditor, including enrolment in the programme, job placement, and sustained employment over three months and then six months.
The pilot phase sets a precedent in government grant-making for skills development and is poised to impact the youth employment landscape significantly. A non-profit company, Employment Outcomes NPC, has been established by Krutham as the fund manager.
The programme is open to various organisations, including NGOs and training companies, that can effectively implement strategies to place eligible youth in quality jobs. These jobs are defined by their full-time status, contracts for a minimum of 12 months, compliance with employment laws, and remuneration at or above the minimum wage. Candidates must be 18-34, must have been an attendee of a quintile 1, 2, or 3 public school or been a beneficiary of the Child Support Grant (CSG), with education no higher than Matric.
From 20 November, prospective implementation partners are invited to submit expressions of interest through the Jobs Boost website (jobsboost.org.za), followed by detailed proposals if shortlisted. Partners should not be employers themselves; however, they may have a formal relationship with employers to ensure successful placement. The selection will be based on a transparent and consistent evaluation process, focusing on the realism of proposals, job targets, and value for money. The deadline for expressions of interest is 14 December and a virtual workshop will be held for those interested on 4 December.
“We hope that Jobs Boost will help to create a sustainable and prosperous future for the country’s youth, transforming the youth employment landscape and setting a global example of innovation and collaboration,” says programme director Riyaadh Ebrahim. “We look forward to working with a diverse range of implementation partners to create jobs and ensure youth are well able to do them.”
About Jobs Boost Outcomes Fund
Jobs Boost is a R300 million pay-for-performance model being piloted in South Africa. It is an outcomes fund that works with implementing partners to secure sustainable, quality jobs for unemployed, excluded youth.
Jobs Boost was initiated by the Presidency as part of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention (PYEI). It was designed by Krutham, who will manage the pilot programme. The Jobs Boost Outcomes Fund is a project of a non-profit company, Employment Outcomes NPC, which Krutham established to administer the fund. Funding for the design of the programme was provided by the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation. For the pilot, the National Skills Fund, a part of the Department of Higher Education and Training, will act as the sole outcomes funders.
Krutham is a leading financial and policy advisory firm committed to driving positive impact in emerging markets. With a deep understanding of financial and capital markets, combined with a keen sense of social impact and politics, Krutham is dedicated to shaping industries and contributing to a better future. Straddling the spectrum of capital, Krutham works with diverse clients to deliver beyond the obvious and create financial systems that serve as a force for good. Krutham believes that financial systems are a force for good, and its role is to help maximise that good.
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