The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) have recruited 66 graduates as part of the IPID workplace experiential placement programme.
The programme, which was launched on Monday, by Police Deputy Minister Cassel Mathale, is aimed at providing employment opportunities for young people, workplace exposure, skills development, mentoring and coaching by experienced employees, and ultimately acquire the NCV Level 4. Mathale was accompanied by IPID Executive Director, Jennifer Ntlatseng, and Waseem Carrim, NYDA chief executive.
Addressing reporters, Ntlatseng said the programme is among the 10-point plan youth development strategy she outlined when she took over the reins last year.
“We had been discussing it in the department for a very long time and today, we launch it… and make sure that is functioning.”
Ntlatseng said the collaboration, development and implementation of the youth development strategy by the IPID would also encourage other law enforcement agencies to join and contribute to the national youth development strategy.
The key focus areas of the strategy, she said, are to improve interdepartmental collaboration on the youth development strategy; formalise graduate recruitment and attract highly skilled people, and support youth absorption into employment, particularly in law enforcement agencies.
Ntlatseng said the directorate has, to date, collaborated with the NYDA, Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (Sasseta) and the Presidency in implementing the youth development strategy in the department.
“This collaboration will ensure that other youth acquire the necessary experience to prepare them for employment, not only in the IPID but also in other entities within the safety and security environment,” she said.
The recruits will be distributed in all IPID offices in the nine provinces.
“These young people will play a pivotal role in the administration and in the core programme of investigation in the IPID,” Ntlatseng said, adding that the directorate is now engaging other law enforcement agencies, departments and the private sector to consider absorbing the learners when the programme concludes.
“We are certain those we have enrolled for this experiential programme and training will come out sharpened and will be ready to serve with due diligence. We urge the support of other entities and businesses to assist us to transfer the skills of these young people.”
Carrim, in his message of support, said even before the crippling economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the country was already grappling with high unemployment rates.
“We have to work to build back better,” he said.
As part of its COVID-19 response, Cabinet last year approved phase one of the employment stimulus between October 2020 and March 2021.
This intervention saw 300 000 young people placed as teachers and general assistants, while 80 000 agricultural farmers, many of them young, also received funding. Over 25 000 ECD practitioners also received support.
Carrim expressed gratitude to the IPID for reaching out to the agency with the programme.
“When we conceptualise youth service in South Africa, we think about an army of young people who are yearning and eager to service. There’s a misconception that young people don’t want to work.
“Almost every programme that we have in South Africa is almost oversubscribed by young people who are eager to offer a service to their country. There’s nothing that can replace the dignity of a job.”
He said the agency was excited about this programme.
Addressing the recruits, Carrim said: “You have rights over your employer and your employer has rights over you but you also have responsibilities towards each other, and you must always safeguard that with everything you do.”
Mathale said the ministry is confident that programme will inspire the youth.
“It is no secret that youth unemployment in this country is at unacceptable levels,” he said.
However, he said government is playing its part to address this challenge that threatens the future of millions of youths.
This programme, he said, is one such example.
The group will be placed in various units, and will be mentored and coached by highly qualified and experienced employees during their workplace experience.
“Through this programme, the IPID will be assisted in its endeavour to create a pool of prospective employees, and promote the policing and detective sector as a profession. The other benefit is that young people will get an opportunity to fast track gaining skills in their selected fields. They will also be mentored by industry leaders,” he said.
Mathale said government in its entirety should continue to support programmes of the NYDA.
Training includes National Certificate Vocational Level 4 in disciplines such as safety in society; administration; information technology & computer science; financial management, and marketing and communication.
“During our programmes of intakes, these young people must be taken into consideration to ensure that they don’t become frustrated like all other programmes where people are placed for 12 months, after which they go back to the streets. Let’s make this a different programme and a worthwhile one for our youth,” Mathale said.