The purpose of this study was to investigate and describe the impact that lived experiences have on trainees of the EPWP. As one of the main employment creation strategies, the EPWP is aimed at reducing unemployment as well as contributing to ending the skills deficit in South Africa by creating temporary employment opportunities for the unemployed and mainly unskilled. Given the strong link between waged employment and poverty income in South Africa, it is important to respond to the challenge of unemployment. Understanding the type of participants who join the EPWP is crucial in order to understand if the programme has an impact on the lives of trainees. Hence the lived experiences of trainees are examined. Firstly, the study examined how the education, skills and training attained by trainees impact on the EPWP training experience. Secondly, the research investigated the conditions of EPWP employment to obtain evidence on whether the programme working and training experience increase the skills and employability of trainees. Lastly, the survival strategies employed by trainees in order to deal with and overcome their socio-economic embeddedness was researched. This study made use of semi-structured interviews conducted with thirty former trainees of the EPWP at Tshwane Leadership Foundation. The study reveals that lived experiences have a significant impact on determining how participants interact with the programme. The programme is being implemented as more of a social protection measure than a labour market performance booster. The principal reason for this was the programmes lack of work experience and training that could improve the participant's labour market performance. In this way, the program is more of a social safety net and less of a labour market performance. This nuance helped participants meet and overcome their socio-economic embeddedness.
Dissertation (MSocSci)--University of Pretoria, 2019.