Communications Officer


IYF: Programme Communications Officer

Action Appointments
Opportunity closing date:
Thursday, 11 March, 2021
Opportunity type:

For 30 years, our sole focus has been to help young people succeed. Together with partners around the world, we’ve invested in ensuring that youth develop the leadership, technical, and life skills to earn a livelihood. For more information, please consult

In South Africa, IYF partners to strengthen education and training systems including public TVET colleges and employer-led learnerships so that they better equip young people to access and expand economic opportunity. We work with national government and TVET leaders to align courses with industry needs; we equip employers to deliver more impactful life skills training within their learnerships; and we create mutually beneficial partnerships between industry and education systems that improve young people’s lives while also delivering benefits to employers.

Based in Johannesburg, International Youth Foundation (IYF) seeks to fill the following vacancy:


Be Part of a Unique Public Private Partnership

IYF South Africa recently launched High Gear, a partnership with the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) and the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET) that is advancing South Africa’s public TVET college system. High Gear draws on industry knowledge and skills imperatives—along with IYF curricula enhancement tools—to strengthen the market relevance of select public TVET college courses. Ultimately, High Gear aims to demonstrate a model for greater industry involvement in TVET course design and delivery that generates positive returns for both young people and employers.

The UK Government’s Skills for Prosperity Programme is funding High Gear implementation in KwaZulu-Natal Province, and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation are funding project implementation in Eastern Cape Province. All three funding partners are supporting High Gear’s national stakeholder engagement and learning efforts.

IYF needs a Programme Communications Officer to lead content ideation, creation, and coordination for the High Gear initiative. The Officer will: 1) develop compelling content that helps to incentivise public and private sector participation in High Gear; and 2) coordinate content dissemination through High Gear’s industry association and TVET college partners’ communication channels; 3) support project staff with editing or creating documents, storytelling and photography.

The Programme Communications Officer will support High Gear success in the following ways:

  • Content Ideation: The Officer will regularly interview High Gear team members, national and provincial industry group partners, employers, TVET college staff, and TVET learners and graduates, in order to generate content and stories that further the High Gear communications strategy. Complementing these efforts, the Officer will review High Gear project reports and other internal/external learning materials produced by the High Gear team, in order to identify possible High Gear communications content.
  • Content Creation: The Officer will produce compelling, relevant, and factually accurate written content for timely dissemination through High Gear partners’ communication channels. As part of this role, the Officer will write online and print content, such as social media posts, fact sheets, success stories, and press releases. The Officer will also lead and/or support storyboarding of project videos. When assigned, the Officer will manage consultants involved in the graphic design and layout of High Gear-supplied content.
  • Content Coordination & Dissemination: The Officer will liaise closely with High Gear national and provincial partners—including industry associations and public TVET colleges—to coordinate High Gear message positioning and dissemination, including through partners’ social media channels and websites as well as on our IYF global channels. The Officer will ensure all disseminated content conveys a cohesive narrative; uses a similar voice/tone; incentivises partner participation in High Gear; and adheres to the donor-approved High Gear Communications Strategy. In addition, the Officer will coordinate with IYF’s global communications team to elevate content to IYF’s digital platforms, as appropriate.
  • Donor Liaising: The Officer will liaise with High Gear donor communication leads, to support the amplification of High Gear messaging through donors’ social media channels, and to ensure content aligns with donor requirements. The Officer will also respond to donor requests for custom communications content in a timely manner.
  • High Gear Team Support: The Officer will contribute to broader efforts to train project staff to better understand effective social media strategies; storytelling; and photography. In addition, the Officer will copy-edit project reports and other documents as assigned, and provide custom feedback to the team to support their use of effective writing strategies.

The Programme Communications Officer must meet the following criteria:

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English.
  • Experience copy-editing reports for both South African and international audiences.
  • Proven ability to write clear, concise, and compelling content for online audiences.
  • Proven ability in adjusting content tone/voice for different audiences, including for private sector, public sector, and youth audiences.
  • Demonstrated experience in creating content for social media platforms, including LinkedIn.
  • Prior experience with storyboarding videos of diverse topics, and for diverse audiences.
  • Experience with infographics, graphic design, and/or photography are an added advantage (but not required).
  • Outstanding interpersonal communication skills which must be effective and courteous, requiring high-integrity when dealing with a broad array of cultures and partners.
  • Highly organised, with the ability to identify and establish priorities, work independently and remotely, and exercise sound judgment.
  • Takes direction for assignments but demonstrates initiative and creativity in researching topics and presenting ideas for writing projects.
  • Highly proficient in the MS Office suite, including Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Bonus skills: Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, and/or Canva.

Only applicants without work restrictions in South Africa should apply.

This is a 1-year fixed-term position, with the possibility for renewal.

Please the submit the following items for your application by Thursday 11th March 2021 to

  • Completed Action Appointments bio summary form in MS Word format
  • Updated CV in MS Word Format
  • 3 samples of written work (ideally a mix of samples, such as articles, documents, reports and social media posts)
  • Application Task: please watch the IYF project video link below and write two sample posts introducing the video. The first should be a Twitter post alerting industry and national government stakeholders to the video. The second should be a 230 to 250-word LinkedIn post telling the story of IYF’s work in the video to the wider LinkedIn audiences. Use your creativity in choosing an appropriate angle and style but be careful not to use the exact wording in IYF’s video write-up on our website.

Video link: