eJobs Platform deserves 2018 Tech Award


During the 2018 State of the Nation address President Ramaphosa indicated that he wanted to know the state of youth employment and unemployment. He said he wanted to know how many young people are being employed on a regular basis.

The truth however is that it has been difficult for the President to know the finer details of youth employment and unemployment until now. The Minister of Public Service & Administration, Ayanda Dlodlo, this week launched something that may solve such an information challenge in future through the eJobs platform. The eJobs platform is an online environment for government jobs and the new way to apply for government jobs, which serves as the first step towards enabling government to recruit through digital means. For a very long time the only way to apply for a government job has been through a print form known as Z83.

According to The Infonomist column the eJobs platform deserves the 2018 Technology award. In 2017 the Tech Award worthy technology was developed by BridgIoT which was designed to monitor and measure water usage to assist with water saving methods. A technology that was instrumental in assisting Cape Town to deal with the drought crisis.

The technology behind the eJobs platform is not new or out of this world. It is what it does that matters and worthy of an award. It is the problem that it can solve that  truly matters and makes it worthy of a Tech Award for 2018.

Unemployment in South Africa is a major challenge, particularly for young people. Solving that challenge, through information, should be an obsession of technologists. The fact that the South African government is doing something about this challenge should be commended and South Africa has Minister Dlodlo to thank for leading in this regard. She is paving a way for a paperless government. The eJobs platform should be seen as just the beginning in this process.

The current functionality of the eJobs platform is not in itself a major technology advancement, it is the potential of this platform that matters. The eJobs platform has the potential to become an extremely important employment data asset for the state. In order for South Africa to deal with the unemployment challenge there’s a need  solve the access to employment information challenge. As part of a process to solve the employment challenge it is important to know who has the skill and who needs the skill. The ability to connect the people with the skill and those in need of such skill is the necessary solution that needs to form part of the eJobs platform in future. Whenever people are losing jobs there’s a need to connect them with an organisation that needs their skills and that is another functionality that should form part of the eJobs platform.

At any given time employers including the President should have a clear view of capable people in need of jobs. Real-time information about the state of jobs in South Africa should be the ultimate goal of the eJobs platform.

During his State of the Nation address President Ramaphosa promised to host the Jobs Summit and this was done within the year 2018. At the Jobs Summit corporates promised to enable access to jobs for young people.What is now required is the monitoring of the job promises by corporates at the Jobs Summit. It should be possible for the President to access an app on his tablet that provides information about South Africans in need of jobs and who is employing them. The eJobs platform should include this functionality in future.

The eJobs platform focuses on application of government jobs only. In 2019, there will be a need to work towards creating a system that allows people to apply for jobs across the board, public and private sector jobs. A single view of information about available skills and available jobs can make a difference in enabling reducing unnecessary unemployment.

Kay Ann