Young and jobless? Apply for one of 287 000 education assistant posts

The department of basic education is encouraging young unemployed people to apply for a total of 287 000 vacant posts as teacher and general assistants under its employment initiative programme.

The successful candidates will be placed in schools from 1 November until March 2022 under the second phase of the programme, department spokesperson Elijah Mhlanga said in a statement. 

Phase one ran from 1 December 2020 to 31 April this year.

“The first phase of the programme went very well,” Mhlanga said. “We had 800 000 applicants last year, however, we only managed to take the 300 000 that we needed.”

To qualify as an education assistant, an applicant must have passed matric English, but an additional national qualifications framework (NQF) certificate is an added advantage.

Mhlanga said the volume of the applications received last year showed a big skills gap in the education sector, especially in rural and remote areas.

A matric certificate is not a requirement for candidates looking to be placed as general school assistants for infrastructure support, or as “sports and enrichment agents”.

Mhlanga said youth between the ages of 18 and 35, who are currently not in education or training or receiving any form of government grant, as well as women and young disabled people “are eligible and encouraged to apply for this enriching experience,”.

He said successful applicants would have an opportunity to receive training in various skills that would equip them for future employment.  The successful candidates will assist teachers with the curriculum, as “reading champions”, information and communication technology “e-cadres”, general maintenance assistants and “sports and enrichment agents”.

Applicants must have good listening and communication skills and the ability to work with people and groups. 

Applicants can only apply online, not at schools or education department offices.

To apply, visit

Keep the powerful accountable

Subscribe for R30/mth for the first three months. Cancel anytime.

Subscribers get access to all our best journalism, subscriber-only newsletters, events and a weekly cryptic crossword.

Chris Gilili
Chris Gilili is a climate and environmental journalist at the Mail & Guardian’s environmental unit, covering socioeconomic issues and general news. Previously, he was a fellow at amaBhungane, the centre for investigative journalism.

Related stories


Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Latest stories

Judge Hlophe rules parliament fire accused’s psychiatric observation unlawful

Zandile Mafe's referral for psychiatric observation has been set aside and Western Cape Judge President John Hlophe has ordered that he be released immediately to a correctional facility.

How to keep SAA, PetroSA, Eskom away from politicians

The state capture report reveals a governance crisis at state-owned entities. Experts weigh in on how this came to be and what to do about it.

Five-year drama over Sassa cleaning deal

Welfare agency allegedly bent procurement process to suit a contractor previously found guilty of collusion, and preferred bidder Corporate Cleaning wants damages paid

Sars whistleblower Van Loggerenberg suffers ‘suspicious’ home invasion

The break-in comes a week after that at the home of fellow whistleblower and Zondo commission witness Themba Maseko

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…