top of page



Asset 4.png



BR Reporter | 29 March 2023

Kgomotso Sekhu (YES Alumni), a business intelligence data analyst Nedbank (right to left), Ravi Naidoo, the CEO of the Youth Employment Service (YES) and Mawanda Faniso (YES Alumni), an advanced Aerial Drones pilot. Photo: Supplied

The Youth Employment Service (YES) has deployed 100 000 young South Africans into the private sector within just four years, the private sector funded non-profit said in a statement on Wednesday.

YES works with businesses to place or sponsor unemployed youth in 12-month quality work experiences that are fully funded by the private sector, giving them the critical experience and skills that they need to secure future employment.

In the process, these work experiences have seen R6 billion in salaries injected into local economies across South Africa.

“With most of these youth coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, they have the chance to not just change the course of their lives but also that of the country," said YES CEO Ravi Naidoo.

He said YES hadn’t just created 100 000 jobs, it had given young people the skills, work experience and social networks they needed to contribute to the economy for the next 40 years and beyond.

“It is these future professionals, entrepreneurs and change-makers who will drive our economic prosperity in the years to come,” said Naidoo.

“The fact that two out of three youth are currently unemployed keeps us awake at night. It must do the same for all of South Africa, especially corporates,” he added.

This as 61% of YES Youth coming from social grant-recipient households and 77% with dependants, their incomes benefit entire families and even communities. These youth also work in industries and roles that build their local villages, towns and economies.

Given the low rates of economic growth, Naidoo said South Africa was currently producing neither the volume nor type of jobs required to reverse the current unemployment trend. Currently, more than 400 000 new job-seekers entered the market every year, but the country has only created an average of 150 000 net jobs per year over the past 10 years.

“What we need are jobs and initiatives that have a multiplier effect down the line. We must find ways to turn one job into 10, or more. This can only be made possible by unleashing the potential of the country’s youth, creating a talent pipeline for young people from poor households to enter the economy and become the drivers of the changes that the country so desperately needs.

“If South Africa is to succeed over the next 10 years, we need to get as many of your talented youth as possible into meaningful roles in the economy,” he said.

Research showed that 40% of YES alumni were currently employed and 15% were involved in entrepreneurial activity – higher than the national average.

Data released earlier this month from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), looking at the last quarter of 2022, showed that the youth unemployment rate measuring job-seekers between 15 and 24 years of age rose to 61%, up from an over two-year low of 59.6% in the previous period.

YES said one of them, 25-year-old Chulumanco Lonwabo Nomtyala, a Microsoft YES alumnus based in the Eastern Cape, had designed an app called Soft 4IR Apps that would help people apply seamlessly for housing subsidies.

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


bottom of page