Breaking barriers to entry in the Public Service

Image: 123RF/michaeljung.

As the challenge of unemployment among graduates with a post-National Senior Certificate qualification is growing at an alarming rate, the Public Service is enabling them to gain knowledge and experience through the Public Service Graduate Internship Programme.

The programme, implemented by the National School of Government, prepares graduates to access employment opportunities in the Public Service. It is also open to newly appointed interns in government departments.

Participants attend classes, facilitated by public servants, for five working days, after which they receive a certificate of completion.

The orientation programme is underpinned by values and principles found in Chapter 10 of the South African Constitution. The programme is aimed at orientating learners to the Public Service and generating awareness around how it is organised and how it functions.

How the programme shapes participants

The programme shapes young graduates into public servants who:

  • Break new ground; Graduates are taught to have the ability to change policies into action through government programes.
  • Inspire success; Self-motivated and ready to motivate others to serve the public.
  • Raise the standard; Responsive and capable of giving their best, regardless of whether they are in the front office or at management level.
  • Believe nothing is impossible; Graduates should not use policy or resource constraints as an excuse for not doing work, but come up with turnaround strategies to salvage a failing situation.
  • Make a difference to people; Always committed, results-oriented and measures the impact of their actions against the public’s expectations.
  • Believe in collective responsibility and teamwork; Believe in partnership, consider the opinions of colleagues, peers and the public; and be able to network with organs of civil society, community development workers and other stakeholders.
  • Are on board; Owns the processes of service delivery and understands that blame for the failure of the system should be laid squarely on their shoulders.

Course map and benefits

The programme consists of six units that equip graduates with knowledge, skills and values, an ability to understand the Constitution; an understanding of the overall government cycle; better knowledge and understanding of the Batho Pele Principles and how to apply them; how to successfully apply for a job in the Public Service; how to prepare for job interviews; and proper conduct in the workplace.

For more information, visit www.thensg.gov.za. To book a course, call the contact centre at (012) 441 6000 or email contactcentre@thensg.gov.za.

-This article was originally published in the GCIS Vuk'uzenzele.