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LinkedIn partners with YES to tackle youth unemployment in SA


LinkedIn has teamed up with South Africa’s Youth Employment Service (YES) to connect unemployed youth to local and global opportunities

The announcement was made at LinkedIn’s first South Africa Talent Awards in Sandton on Thursday, 18 October. The event aims to celebrate the success of local companies in the talent acquisition and employer branding space.

YES is a business-led collaboration with government and labour to create one million work opportunities for young people. The unique partnership will see LinkedIn sharing insights from its more than 575 million members across 200 countries to identify skills gaps across the world, supporting YES in custom curriculum and content development for YES youth, improving YES branding and reach on LinkedIn and connecting youth with local and global employers via a centralised, custom portal. The LinkedIn-YES partnership will include:

  • LinkedIn profiles: YES youth will create their own LinkedIn profile, with guidance from LinkedIn around how to use this platform, to build a business presence, expand on their personal growth and connect to opportunities available.

  • Jobs hub: LinkedIn will help set up a centralised hub connecting YES youth to jobs from participating South African employers.

  • Data and insights: YES will continually leverage LinkedIn’s data insights to evolve the skills and training opportunities it creates, keeping youth relevant and prepared to meet the needs of a competitive, digitally-focused global market.

David Whelan, head of Africa, LinkedIn Talent Solutions, says LinkedIn, in collaboration with Microsoft, had formalised the YES partnership because the initiative aligned with LinkedIn’s vision of creating economic opportunity for members of the global workforce. "We are excited about the potential of this partnership to connect unserved youth," says Whelan. "Some six million South African professionals have profiles on LinkedIn, with more than 270 000 local companies represented, and 170 000 jobs on offer." YES CEO Tashmia Ismail-Saville adds, "Together, LinkedIn and YES are using new ways to solve inequality and the huge unemployment challenges facing our youth." "In partnering with us, LinkedIn has shown the kind of mindset that we need to get this important movement off the ground. As all stakeholders across industries and sectors pull together, we can change the lives of our youth and reshape the future of our economy," says Ismail-Saville. Youth participating in the YES programme will be given smartphones and, through the LinkedIn app, will have direct and continued access, enabling them to connect to opportunities. "This partnership offers a whole fresh set of linkages for youth who would never have had the opportunity otherwise," adds Ismail-Saville. "Access to a network and particularly a digital network has a significant impact on youth opportunities. It gives exposure, a sensitisation to the real economy, access to mentors, social networks and capital." She says technology had evolved more quickly than the global skills base, resulting in a shortage of key digital skills worldwide. The insights leveraged would prepare Africa to become an important global supplier of digital skills. "Students often aren’t aware of the skills needed by the market place when they decide what to study," adds Ismail-Saville. "They let gut feel or anecdotal evidence guide their career choices, and we end up with a glut of unemployed graduates while the economy struggles along without the skills it needs to ignite faster growth." LinkedIn’s Talent Awards highlights the success of employers, individuals and teams headquartered in South Africa using LinkedIn to make a significant impact within their organisations. LinkedIn’s insights team analyses the performance, results and impact organisations have when finding, hiring and retaining top talent. Winners at the awards were:

  • Jumo.World (under 500 employees on LinkedIn) and Standard Bank Group (over 500 employees on LinkedIn) for best employer brand on LinkedIn

  • Coronation Fund Managers (under 500 employees on LinkedIn) and RCL Foods (over 500 employees on LinkedIn) for best talent acquisition team

  • Ray Govender from Mr Price Group for top social recruiter

  • KWV for LinkedIn rising star

  • Nedbank for best culture of learning

Whelan says, "LinkedIn’s South Africa Talent Awards winners reflect a deep commitment to the value of identifying and developing talent in the workplace." "Winning organisations demonstrate how recognising the right candidates, and aligning emerging talent to business needs, can increase the performance and success of organisations worldwide," Whelan adds.



Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER

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