Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says education, training and skills development are critical as they afford society an opportunity to learn and progress.
Speaking at the launch of the Public Service Graduate Recruitment Scheme at the University of Johannesburg on Wednesday, Dlodlo said education and skills development are key to driving socio-economic growth to achieve the goal of substantially reducing poverty, inequality and unemployment.
She called on all government departments in the public service to recruit and nurture young talent in their various competencies.
“The public service needs professionalization and cutting edge ways of doing business and the youth is a repository of such skills.
“This is more so, if we redouble our efforts in nurturing the skills and talent of our youth to prepare them for their much needed contribution towards building the country’s economy,” the Minister said.
Dlodlo described the new scheme as one of the practical initiatives proposed by the National Development Plan towards the achievement of a goal to make the Public Service a career of choice.
“As we are all aware, the National Development Plan highlights the importance of adopting a more long-term approach to developing the skills and professional ethos that underpin a development oriented public service.
“The introduction of this scheme therefore will provide a more coherent entry route for young public servants and will provide targeted training and help to build the skills and professional ethos required for the sector,” she said.
Dlodlo explained that the scheme does not seek to replace or obliterate currently existing schemes or recruitment mechanisms, such as internships, artisan programmes and other youth development initiatives in the sector.
“Instead, it seeks to consolidate and complement these so that we have a broader platform for skills recruitment and retention in the public service.”
The Director of Induction and Training at the National School of Government, Ephraim Mmekoa, said having a degree was no longer enough. Students need practical skills as there is a dire shortage of critical skills.
The Public Service Graduate Recruitment Scheme, approved by Cabinet in December 2017, will offer new graduates work opportunities and training in government departments.
The initiative came to fruition in response to the recommendation of the National Development Plan that in order to achieve a professional public service, the State needs to be a career of choice by attracting the best graduates and youth with potential to its employment service.
The Central Graduate Recruitment Scheme will, among other things, achieve the following:
• Strengthen the talent pipeline for the public service’s future capacity, especially in scarce occupations and critical areas of service delivery (technical skills and specialist professions);
• Provide best-practice on existing graduate schemes in the public service and the principles for implementation across the public service and
• Enhance the image and competitiveness and prestige of public employment in the labour market and to improve professionalism in the public service.
The launch was attended by current final year students in higher education institutions throughout the country and other young professionals with an interest in the public service. – SAnews.gov.za