Programme Manager (Risk & Planning)

Programme Manager (Risk & Planning)

High Gear Programme Director (Chief of Party)

Johannesburg, South Africa

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. Whether it’s landing a first job, growing a business, or driving social change, every young person deserves the opportunity to realize his or her full potential. Rooted in the belief of youth as problem-solvers, change-makers, and leaders, our initiatives are catalysts for change.

In South Africa, IYF partners to strengthen education and training systems—including public TVET colleges and employer-led learnerships for unemployed youth—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 measurable business benefits.

IYF’s work in South Africa is always exciting, ever-evolving, and informed by the needs of key stakeholders: the Department of Higher Education & Training (DHET), national industry groups, individual employers, and young people. It is not without challenges, but the payoff is worth it. Our programming is supported by a growing number of government, corporate, and foundation donors, including the UK Government’s Skills for Prosperity Programme, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Embassy of Ireland, Michael & Susan Dell Foundation, De Beers, and PepsiCo Foundation.

IYF South Africa is launching High Gear, a four-year donor-funded partnership with the National Association of Automotive Component and Allied Manufacturers (NAACAM) that will harness the knowledge and skills imperatives of this vital economic sector—along with IYF curricula enhancement tools—to strengthen the quality of select public TVET college courses. Ultimately, IYF wants to demonstrate a model for greater industry involvement in TVET course design and delivery that generates enthusiasm from TVET educators and industry, while also generating positive returns for young people and employers.

We require a Programme Manager (Risk & Planning) to support implementation of this effort. The Programme Manager (Risk & Planning) will play a vital role in coordinating national and provincial planning for this complex initiative, overseeing national-level sub-awards, and supporting the project team to identify, manage and mitigate programmatic and partnership risks. The Manager will also provide additional “as needed” support to national and provincial High Gear team members to deliver on the key aims of this initiative.

The Programme Manager (Risk & Planning) will drive High Gear success in the following ways:

  • Ensure the High Gear Workplan is Updated, Accurate & Actioned: The Manager will work with all relevant team members to ensure the cloud-based national and provincial workplans are constantly updated, adjusted, and actioned. The Manager will also work with team members—including the Programme Director, TVET Curriculum Enhancement Manager, and Provincial Managers—to flag possible risks and conflicts within the delivery schedule, and develop contingency and mitigation measures as needed. The Manager will also work with national and provincial teams to develop annual workplan submissions (including workplan narratives) that are required for each donor.  The Manager will organise logistics—such as scheduling and coordinating travel planning—for quarterly Theory of Change review workshops that will be led by the Programme Director.
  • Activity & Budget Forecasting: The Manager will coordinate with provincial and national staff to develop quarterly activity and programmatic-related budget forecasts. The Manager will flag to the Programme Director potential high-risk areas of implementation, and where revised budget allocations may be needed.
  • Own the Risk Register & Mitigate Downstream Partner Risk: The Manager will “own” the project risk register and mitigation/contingency plans, and work with team members to ensure that: 1) the register is regularly updated; 2) emerging and/or resurgent risks are flagged; 3) mitigation measures are designed for each risk; and 4) mitigation measures are integrated into the project workplan when necessary. As part of this role, the Manager will lead in the design and implementation of select mitigation measures focused on sub-awardees’. 
  • Sub-Award Management: The Manager will oversee High Gear-issued sub-awards to the project’s national industry partner. Oversight will include managing the approval process; tracking burn rates and performance against approved budgets and workplans; implementation of risk mitigation efforts; and serving as the point-of-contact for sub-award related issues.   
  • Support Project Reporting: The Manager will support High Gear donor reporting, with specific responsibility for drafting sections focused on national-level activities, partnerships, and progress, and reporting on updates on the risk register and mitigation measures.  
  • Organize PAC and PMC Meetings: The Manager will lead the scheduling and meeting logistics of national-level High Gear stakeholder advisory meetings, including the Project Advisory Committee (PAC) consisting of High Gear funders, and the Project Management Committee (PMC) consisting of national level partners and youth advisors. The Manager will participate in PAC and PMC meetings, and share meeting minutes and action items with all participants in a timely fashion. 
  • Additional Support to High Gear National & Provincial Teams: The Manager will provide support to High Gear national and provincial team members for additional timebound assignments, such as managing contractors, helping to organise and/or coordinate workshops, and leading select research, communications, and outreach deliverables.
  • Other Duties as Assigned to achieve High Gear objectives.

To thrive in this role, the successful candidate needs to be highly organised, have strong attention to detail, be IT savvy, and be a team player that excels in developing positive working relationships with colleagues.

In addition, we are seeking candidates with:

  • 6+ years project management, risk management, and sub-award management experience on projects funded by USAID and/or DFID..
  • Strong working knowledge of USAID and/or DFID project compliance requirements, particularly those related to project work planning, delivery, risk mitigation, sub-award management, and donor reporting. 
  • Experience strengthening teams’ and/or partners’ risk planning and donor compliance capacity (particularly related to project delivery), including through designing and delivering targeted workshops. 
  • Inquisitive and self-motivated learner. You do not need to have prior experience in the TVET college system or in skills development. You do need to be committed and excited to rapidly learn about these fields and apply that learning to your work at IYF.
  • Demonstrated ability designing and leading training workshops and meetings in a diverse range of settings, and with a diverse range of corporate, government, and community stakeholders. Ability to adjust communication style as needed. Strong writing skills.
  • Strong ICT literacy, with the ability to rapidly learn software and cloud-based platforms.
  • MS Office 365 skills a must, with working knowledge of OneNote and SharePoint an advantage.
  • Ability to travel domestically (particularly Port Elizabeth and Durban), sometimes on short notice.
  • Undergraduate degree
  • Driver’s license and personal vehicle
  • South African citizen or permanent resident


  • A polished and resourceful style, with the ability to work both independently and as a team player
  • An entrepreneurial approach, where tenacity, taking initiative, executing methodically, and proactively solving problems come naturally
  • A balance of confidence, humility, and empathy
  • Commitment to IYF’s mission


  • Want to be part of a new initiative that you can help to shape and grow
  • Believe industry and government partnerships are key to unlocking South Africa’s talent
  • Identify solutions as quickly as you spot challenges
  • Thrive in a culture of high-performance and high-integrity
  • Would like to work in a global organisation, within its South Africa “innovation hub”
  • Like surrounding yourself with really smart, driven, mission-driven people

Please send your CV, cover letter, and completed Action Appointments bio summary form in word format to:

For your cover letter, rather than summarizing your CV, please answer the following questions in 1-2 pages:

  • Describe one of the most significant project risks that you have had to solve.
  • How did you identify the risk; what mitigation or contingency measures did you develop; and how did you bring your colleagues and project funders onboard with the proposed solution?

Female applicants are encouraged to apply.

Only applicants without work restrictions in South Africa should apply.