Young(ish) and unemployed? YES to provide a million 'paid work experiences'

President Cyril Ramaposa speaking at the launch of the Youth Employment Service (YES) at the Riverside incubation Hub in Midrand, Johannesburg, on 27 March 2018. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday launched the Youth Employment Service (YES).

YES is a business-led partnership with government, labour and civil society.

It aims to provide a million South Africans, aged between 18 and 35, with paid work experiences over the next three years.

YES has three platforms for youth employment:

  • Corporate work experiences: businesses that participate in the programme create one-year paid positions, in addition to these organisations’ current employment numbers;

  • SMME host placements: businesses that do not have the capacity to place more people in their organisations, have the option of sponsoring the salary and support costs for a one-year placement in small and medium enterprises;

  • SMME development: young people are empowered to start and grow their own businesses, with support from YES in the form of training, seed funding and value-chain integration.

Research has shown that one year of work experience, coupled with a CV and reference letter, increases a young person’s chances of finding employment by three times.

This proven experience de-risks a young person and makes employers more likely to appoint new hires. The effect is amplified for women.

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, Youth Employment Service

At the launch, President Ramaphosa was introduced to the first 100 young people who will be employed at ABSA, Investec, Netcare, Sasol and Unilever through the YES programme.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO at Youth Employment Service.

Listen to the interview in the audio below (and/or scroll down for quotes from it).

There are a lot of support and goodwill from the private sector. I think people have seen the cliff’s edge… Business understands this is a big societal problem…

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, Youth Employment Service

Even if we get to the million… it’s still 1/6th of the way…

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, Youth Employment Service

There is an employment tax incentive…

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, Youth Employment Service

This is BEE spend that can be directed at a truly broad base…

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, Youth Employment Service

The psychological shift when a person becomes employed… they change their outlook… that self-belief is as much a catalyst as that reference letter…

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, Youth Employment Service

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