‘Social Employment’ is a new take on an old idea.
In response to the pandemic, South Africa’s Presidential Employment Stimulus has already created public employment opportunities (or ‘public works’) for over 400,000 people. Now, a ‘Social Employment’ strategy is also being launched. It supports local organisations to create work for the common good, in support of community-driven development.
The approach assumes that particularly in disadvantaged communities, there is no shortage of work to be done to address local challenges – and that sometimes, unemployment is actually their underlying cause. Why not close this loop? When communities are asked, they have no shortage of ideas for work that can be done. Placemaking, care, roof gardens, collation of social histories, community music, dance and drama for all ages and much more.
How could social employment support community development in your context? And which ‘at-risk’ groups could you target?