Mon, 06 Jul 2020

Jobs Fund: How we're putting SA to work

15 Apr 2019, 05:43 GMT+10

The career choices of Najwah Allie-Edries, Deputy Director General for Employment Facilitation at National Treasury's Jobs Fund, reflects her commitment to improving the lives of the poor and delivering economic growth and opportunity in South Africa.

No wonder her motto in life is, "Be intentional, resilient and serve the country well."

And given SA's high unemployment rate, she has an important task resting on her shoulders.

Allie-Edries is also the project officer for a research programme on employment, income distribution and inclusive growth - in partnership with the South African Labour and Development Research Unit (SALDRU) at the University of Cape Town.

Furthermore, she participates in a research programme initiated by the Centre for Social Development in Africa, based at the University of Johannesburg.

It takes blood, sweat and tears to create jobs, says head of Jobs Fund

The Jobs Fund awards grants to projects that are innovative and that demonstrate that they can create sustainable jobs. According to Allie Edries, the fund seeks to intervene in the labour market and catalyse the creation of sustainable jobs by adopting a two pronged approach. Firstly, to stimulate demand for labour through enterprise and infrastructure development. Secondly, to stimulate the supply through improving the skills match between the unemployed and employers.

The various initiatives that have been supported include everything from micro finance to support for rural women, SME development, agriculture support for small holder farmers, among other things.

"The Fund also supports projects in the informal sector," says Allie-Edries.

"The fund has also supported initiatives that have improved the skills match between unemployed youth and existing vacant positions and have thereby accelerated the transition of youth from education into employment."

One such case is that of the Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator. Through its support the fund has catalysed the achievement of scale in the operations of funding partners, thereby resulting in a more inclusive economy, she says.

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