CO-OPERATIVE EDUCATION FACILITATES GRADUATE PLACEMENTS THROUGH THE PRESIDENTIAL YOUTH EMPLOYMENT STIMULUS (PYES)
By Qhawekazi Memani 19 July 2022
The Vaal University of Technology’s (VUT) Cooperative Education within the Centre for Academic Development has created opportunities for 158 VUT graduates to participate in the Presidential Youth Employment Stimulus (PYES) programme, to expose them to the work environment.
PYES is one of the most significant expansions of public and social employment in South Africa’s history and was established in response to the devastating impact of COVID-19 on jobs and livelihoods.
According to Ms Annie Moletsane, Director: Co-operative Education, the students have been placed at various departments across the institution. The project implementation phase which included the entire planning took place between January and March this year. The programme started on the 1st of April 2022.The project is set to run for a period of six months. The Universities South Africa (USAF) is managing the implementation of the PYES across all the universities in South Africa.
The aim of PYES is to assist students to gain workplace experience that may lead to permanent (long-term) employment, through opportunities provided by universities that participate in the programme. PYES also addresses the challenge of youth unemployment in our country and beyond, by providing relief to those who have been most affected by the economic consequences of the pandemic. The programme also recognises that this is a moment of opportunity for change, for new ways of working, and new forms of innovation in response to an unprecedented crisis.
PYES beneficiary Joyce Mpuseng Tshekedi
PYES beneficiary Joyce Mpuseng Tshekedi said, “last year I was unemployed, the opportunity could not have come at a better time. I am currently working with the VUT Director, Human Resources. Being in a work environment has taught me so much and is assisting me to get experience in my chosen field. Already, I have been at a few interviews and of great hope that this opportunity will open doors for me.”
PYES beneficiary Boitomelo Mametja
Another beneficiary, Boitomelo Mametja said with a broad smile: “not only has this opportunity broadened my knowledge in my chosen career, it puts bread on the table, and it also helps me do what I love, assisting others. I am placed in the VUT Chemistry Laboratories.”