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Schalk Burger | 30 January 2024

Global payments technology company Mastercard has partnered with South Africa's Youth Employment Service (YES) to help bridge the youth unemployment gap in the country and will take in 14 YES youth during this year, up from the 12 it employed in 2023.

The intake is pivotal in providing young individuals with crucial work experience, exposure and a unique opportunity to gain experience in the global payments industry.

“Mastercard is deeply committed to forging opportunities for African youth through various channels and partnerships. We are addressing the significant challenge of youth unemployment, especially in South Africa, by providing opportunities for cognate work experience and developing relevant in-demand skills.

“We plan to scale these initiatives and make them sustainable in the coming years,” says Mastercard People Business Partner sub-Saharan Africa director Akinola Akinrin.

“The commitment is exemplified through our recent announcement of a significant in-market investment in South African infrastructure that aligns with the government’s Vision 2025 strategy, along with the establishment of two new data centres. These developments further highlight our focus on addressing regional challenges, and our dedication to making a meaningful impact on the African continent.

“Our partnership with YES is in line with building collaborative and productive partnerships across the public and private sectors, with an emphasis on government priorities,” Akinrin adds.

It is estimated that, by 2030, the number of young people in the African labour force will increase to 375-million. This means that, by 2035, there will be more young people entering the workforce each year than in the rest of the world combined.

One of the long-term objectives of Mastercard’s partnership with YES is to provide young people with 12 months of meaningful, quality workplace experience, and sustainable jobs. The goal is to equip the youth with skills that will grant them access to the economy, while also providing them with an opportunity to make a significant contribution towards the development of society.

“Continuing our partnership with Mastercard is a testament to our ongoing commitment to provide youth the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience in the global payments industry, and to make an impact on the youth employment crisis in South Africa,” says YES CEO Ravi Naidoo.

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


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