YES creates 40,000 'work experiences' for jobless youth - R2b in salaries
CAPE TALK / 13 OCTOBER 2020 - 07.49 / PAULA LUCKOFF
Govt launched the business-partnered Youth Employment Service in 2018. The Money Show interviews CEO Tashmia Ismail-Saville.
Young people looking for work know this Catch-22 situation well: You can't get a job without experience, but you can't get experience without a job.
Young smiling woman at work. Image: 123rf
In a country like South Africa this is compounded by an unemployment rate and specifically a youth unemployment rate that's at a critical point.
But it's not all bad news - the country's Youth Employment Service (YES) reports it's now created 40,000 jobs in total.
The initiative was set up by government with the private sector in 2018 to address the youth unemployment crisis.
The objective was to create one million first-time "work experiences" for South Africans between the ages of 18 and 35, over a three-year period.
Bruce Whitfield interviews YES CEO Tashmia Ismail-Saville on The Money Show.
We've had in the past few days some registrations with Google, Nestlé... and we've gone over the 40,000 work experience mark! Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
That's R2.16 billion in salaries going into youth wallets directly at community level, so it's got a nice multiplier. Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
The young people basically "intern" for a year, learning valuable skills across a huge range of jobs.
We have youth that have learned how to become ECD trainer teachers, have worked at recycling projects, we have whale watchers... They're in rhino protection programmes, they're clearing non-indigenous species... We've got youth in drone training programmes on digital courses... Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
She talks about the importance of having incentives or "carrots" to draw in the business sector.
If businesses create these work experiences with YES, they get one or two levels up on the B-BBEE (Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment) scorecard. Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
YES has been selected to drive the B-BBEE amendment that allows for this incentive and we see the result in a really tough economy where jobs have been shed to create 40,000 work experiences in 20 months is a feat! Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
Yes, there's the direct impact of that salary in a year but it's actually the trajectory - using that year as the springboard to be able to do more. Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
The YES CEO also discusses the ongoing challenges faced by the initiative in an economy that is not growing.
If you've got businesses where confidence is at an all-time low, people will not expand their payroll. And when they do, they're terrified of dismissal costs, the red tape around employment is thick so they will hire from the pool of people that have experience. Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO - Youth Employment Service
Disclaimer - The views expressed here are not necessarily those of the BEE CHAMBER