From 1 April 2019, work experience will no longer be a requirement for recruitment for entry-level jobs in the public sector, the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) has announced.
This, the DPSA said in a statement on Monday, is part of the government’s efforts to address the country’s high youth unemployment rate.
The department is currently in the process of amending regulations in this regard that will take effect at the commencement of the 2019/20 financial year.
DPSA Minister Ayanda Dlodlo has taken the initiative to review the current legislative framework in order to facilitate the implementation of this new dispensation.
This initiative will enhance the government’s human resource development capacity that will see the high levels of unemployment, especially among the youth, alleviated.
The process will also see the removal of unnecessary barriers to entry into the public service and provision of a platform for new graduates to acquire the required experience in their life long career paths. Additionally, the initiative will see new and innovative blood attracted into the public service.
In the statement, Dlodlo said the changes will not do away with the inherent requirements of professional fields.
“This exercise will be structured in such a way that it does not compromise the professional and technical requirements for various fields. All we want to do is streamline career paths and align skills, which will make the public service fit for purpose.”
DPSA spokesperson Mava Scott said the focus of recruitment will now be on minimum academic qualifications obtained from appropriately registered training institutions in terms of the National Qualifications Framework Act and the pre-employment verification, as specified in the Public Service Regulations of 2016.
Dlodlo has instructed the department to issue a circular to the public service mandating Heads of Departments in national and provincial spheres of government to ensure a state of readiness towards a phased implementation by 1 April 2019.
Meanwhile, the department will introduce a paperless administration across the public service and an e- recruitment system that will be rolled from next month.
“As a government, we are concerned that we took long to evolve in this process, resulting in young people, who mostly are techno-savvy, enduring the burden of incurring unnecessary costs when applying for positions in the public service. The world has moved on and the public service needs to keep up and embrace the digital age in all its processes,” said Dlodlo.
The Minister has instructed the department to introduce a digital Z83 application form as an additional platform for job seekers in the public service. Processes will be put in place to ensure compliance with the Public Service Act by formally introducing the digital Z83 form through a notice in the Government Gazette.
The decision to create a digital Z83 form, Scott said, is a direct response to job seekers in South Africa, who have used various platforms, including social media, to inform the Minister about how cumbersome and unaffordable the paper Z83 application process is.
“The Minister has heard the voices of young people too and is committed to using innovative technologies to ensure that being poor does not become a barrier to employment in the public service.”
The Minister emphasized, however, that applications for jobs in the public service will still be accepted through the Z83 forms to accommodate those who do not have access to the internet.
“We understand the challenge of internet access for some of our communities, especially in the rural areas, so we will not close anyone out through this e-recruitment process,” Scott explained.
The department said it will be engaging local government authorities to expedite the infrastructure rollout for Wi-Fi hotspots across all municipalities.