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Yuneal Padayachy - 03 April 2023

The BEE Chamber offers advice regarding key considerations when employing Young People

March 2023, it was announced that the Unemployment rate fell to 32.7% in the last quarter of 2022 from 32.9% in the July-September 2022 period. “Youth unemployment is one of the largest challenges faced globally and is particularly high in South Africa as many young job seekers are excluded from the social networks as a result of being in a non-working household, spatially isolated, or racial and gender issues,” says Yuneal Padayachy, Member Support Executive at the BEE Chamber.

The big question is: Why employ young people in South Africa?

The BEE Chamber offers the following five key considerations when employing youth:

  • Growing Talent and Workforce Planning

One the largest challenges faced with entities is succession planning. “An example of this would be an entity where an individual has been in the same position for 20 years and nobody really knows how this person works but they always meet deadlines and get their job done,” says Padayachy. “Once this person leaves the entity or retires, there is a gap that needs to be filled. However, there was no one in line to take over this position. Entities need to ensure that they remain competitive as well as grow talent and plan for the future and that starts by investing in the youth.”

  • Workforce Diversity

“Youth in the working environment brings about a sense of diversity whereby not everyone is the same age and have the same views.”

  • Unique Skills and Talents

Youth bring about a new way of thinking within the work environment offering fresh, new ideas that will have impact on an entity and its operations. “As we all know that technological advances are being made on a daily basis, Youth are considered to be quite ‘tech savvy’ and in the work environment, this can be effective and efficient.”

  • Adaptability

“Youth are also quite adaptable to a workplace situation. When change takes place within the workplace or something new is introduced, employees need to adapt to the change in order to be successful.”

  • Opportunities

“By providing an opportunity to a young person, this is the starting point of their career. This is the starting point of their journey to earn a living and often the starting point of changing a life,” says Padayachy.

Padayachy says government and the private sector are proactively seeking ways to mitigate high unemployment rates with a particular focus on the youth. “I have had the pleasure of being a part of the Youth Employment Services (Y.E.S.) initiative since inception which addresses youth unemployment. It’s a key project that was introduced in 2018 to reduce unemployment.”

The Y.E.S Initiative is to provide for, and institute, Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Recognition for Y.E.S measured entities and qualification criteria applicable to B-BBEE Recognition for job creation. It also seeks to address the issue of unemployment and place Black unemployed youth into job positions to gain experience.

“The Y.E.S initiative aims to improve the grim employment outlook for young work seekers by offering a quality work experience over a period of 12 Months. This in turn should improve their chances of finding a job or starting their own business,” explains Padayachy.

Only individuals who meet the below criteria are eligible for participation under the Y.E.S Initiative from a B-BBEE Perspective:

  • Individuals are between the ages of 18 and 35; and

  • meet the definition of “Black People” as defined in the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act 53 of 2003 as amended by Act 46 of 2013.

“Amongst the B-BBEE recognition awarded, entities are also eligible to access the Employment Tax Incentive (ETI). So not only does the Y.E.S. initiative offer benefits to the individual, the entity will benefit too – it is beneficial to all involved. If we are committed to seeing an ongoing drop in unemployment figures, it is imperative that we prioritise investing in youth with a particular focus on Black Youth,” says Padayachy.


The table below outlines the numerous levels of B-BBEE Recognition achievable through the Y.E.S initiative, provided that the preconditions and all requirements are met.



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