Govt on track to professionalise the public service space-Deputy Minister Chikunga

Government is on track to ensure that by 2030, the public service space is professionalised and positioned to be a career of choice to skilled young graduates, says Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Sindisiwe Chikunga speaking at Ntembisweni near Greytown in Kwazulu-Natal where she held a successful engagement with unemployed young graduates.

The National Development Plan (NDP), which aims to eliminate poverty and inequality in South Africa by 2030, dictates that in the next ten years, the public service should be professionalised and be considered as a career of choice by young graduates.

“We are indeed on track in terms of absorbing more young graduates to revolutionise the public service…yes it might not be enough, but there is something happening. We are working with different institutions to develop young skilled workforce.

“We have the shortage of critical skills in the public service. We need more nurses, engineers and social workers that many of them, we have not yet been able to absorb into the public service. The other good news is that there are government departments such as the Department of Transport that are now partnering with some institution of higher learning to fund some of those skills,” she said.

The Deputy Minister’s youth engagement dialogue is part of the Ministerial nation-wide programme aimed at attracting unemployed experience and skilled youth graduates to consider joining the public service with the view to bring innovative solutions in terms of providing quality services to South Africans.

Deputy Minister Chikunga also informed the unemployed youth that experience is no longer a requirement for all entry-level posts in the public service.

Asked about her overall impression by the youth of the village who came in their numbers to engage her on a Monday that is not a holiday, the Deputy Minister said: “While it is good to see young people coming in their numbers to engage government leaders, it is worrying because it means there are more unemployed young people in this rural community.”

Deputy Minister Chikunga outlined envisaged interventions by government to tackle youth unemployment, skills development and professionalising the public service space.

Delivering his State of the Nation Address (SoNA) a week ago, President Cyril Ramaphosa said the country is confronted by the crisis of youth unemployment, adding that of the 1.2 million young people who enter the labour market each year, approximately two thirds remain outside of employment, education or training.