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What does saying ‘YES’ mean?


Ramaphosa praises YES’s achievement in creating over 32,000 committed work experience opportunities and injecting R1.3 billion back into local economies

During the 2020 State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa made special mention of the great strides being made by the Youth Employment Service (YES) in tackling South Africa’s youth employment crisis. Since its official launch in November 2018, more than 550 companies have partnered with YES to create over 32,000 quality work experiences. These are expected to inject more than R1.3 billion back into local economies through youth salaries.

High-impact job initiative

This result makes YES one of the highest-impact, jobs initiatives in the country that is not funded by government, but leverages an innovative dti policy on the Codes of Good Practice to reward companies. The reward is a B-BBEE level up for an investment in youth jobs. A carrot rather than a stick approach which has had a dramatic a dramatic impact by enabling YES to create 32,000 jobs, in an economy that is flat lining, no small feat.

Huge saving for the fiscus and multiplier effect for families

Research by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) indicates that the cost to the country of lifetime unemployment is R1.2 million per person. The 32,000 YES jobs equate to an investment of R1.3 billion in youth salaries for a year, which already breaks the scaring effects of unemployment, by derisking a youth and giving them the experience needed to launch into further work opportunities. We could then argue that YES is potentially saving taxpayers some R38 billion that it would have cost the country had those youth remained unemployed.

“Additionally, the 32,000 youth salaries have a significant implication on the socio-economic outcomes for youth, their families, and local communities especially considering the multiplier effect of this additional income for households and businesses,” notes Ismail-Saville.

For example, of the 25,819 youth who have already been placed into these job opportunities, 75% have family members who are receiving social grants, 85% have dependents.

YES CE Dr Tashmia Ismail-Saville states that this achievement is testament to the dedication and efforts of not only the YES team but of the many partners who have come together to help build a better future for the country’s youth. Large corporates and multinationals, small businesses as well as ordinary South Africans have all played a role.

“It is enormously encouraging to see the number of businesses and ordinary citizens that recognise the untapped talent and massive potential of our country’s youth and have consequently become a part of building new economic pathways for under-35s to join the working world.

“The types of jobs YES is creating with partners are strategic and innovative, they have great potential for scale, social impact and longer term career pathways where youth are placed in rhino protection and game ranging opportunities, in green and blue economy jobs, as community health workers changing the health outcomes of their villages and towns and in a range of other high multiplier jobs. The benefits go way beyond just the job.”

Over 101 B-BBEE level-ups with YES

In another noteworthy achievement for YES, more than 101 corporates have achieved level-ups on the B-BBEE scorecards through partnering with YES and investing in youth job, this includes foreign multinationals and small businesses that previously struggled with the ownership element. Some companies have even achieved two level-ups by doubling the investment in youth jobs.

Businesses are able to enhance their B-BBEE credentials through three key pathways, committing to creating paid job experiences in their own businesses, sponsoring youth hosted inside an existing supply chain or SME, or sponsoring youth hosted inside a small enterprise.

“The state-of-the-art YES digitally delivered, soft skills and entrepreneurial training programmes on the YES apps also contribute to life-changing benefits for youth by greatly enhancing their readiness for the next career move and furnishing them with a credible CV and reference letter.

“By also providing skills and entrepreneurial training and business support through our community hubs, we hope to drive formal and informal market linkages, and establish prosperous economic ecosystems, driving sustainable, meaningful transformation,” concludes Ismail-Saville.



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

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