The Basic Package of Support (BPS) is a new approach to youth unemployment that addresses the multiple barriers that prevent young people from taking up work or education opportunities. It is currently being implemented at pilot sites in Atlantis, Western Cape, Orange Farm, Jabulani and Alex, in Gauteng and Cato Manor in KwaZulu-Natal.
The BPS focuses on the key prerequisites for achieving economic productivity: a sense of possibility, improved well-being, and improved navigational capacity. It provides young people with a package of support that includes:
- Proactive outreach through youth mobilisers and digital channels
- Development of customised guidance and action plans through trained youth coaches
- Connection to services
- Connection to earning and learning opportunities
- Ongoing support
University of Johannesburg’s role
The University of Johannesburg (UJ) is playing a pivotal role in the development and implementation of the BPS. UJ’s Centre for Social Development in Africa (CSDA) is the research and development partner for the BPS, and UJ staff are involved in all aspects of the programme, from design and implementation to research and evaluation.
UJ’s involvement in the BPS is significant because it demonstrates the university’s commitment to addressing the social challenges facing South Africa. The BPS is a truly innovative programme that has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of young people.
Professor Lauren Graham, Director of CSDA, underscores the significance of the BPS: “Describing what sets the BPS apart and its innovative nature can be challenging, but sometimes actions speak louder than words. That’s why we’re thrilled to share these films. They capture the profound impact of the BPS on young people, demonstrating that with comprehensive support, they can thrive.”
Impact on young people
The BPS has had a profound impact on the young people who have participated in the pilot programme. Mikayla, an Atlantis pilot participant, says that the BPS helped her to change her line of thinking and become more positive. She is now studying and credits the BPS for her success. Tsholofelo, from Orange Farm, says that the BPS sessions have helped her to reflect on the type of person she is and the type of person she wants to be. She is grateful for the support of her coach and plans to continue the sessions even though she has found a job.
The BPS also works with local service providers in a community of practice (CoP) model to improve the range and quality of services that young people need as they transition to learning and earning.
The BPS is a promising new approach to youth unemployment that has the potential to make a real difference in the lives of young people in South Africa. By providing holistic support that addresses the multiple barriers that young people face, the BPS can help them achieve their full potential.