The unemployment crisis in the country demands practical and forward-thinking solutions which will provide short-term impact and long-term sustainability.
There are many factors that have led to our high youth unemployment rate, including a lack of equal, quality education, limited work opportunities due to economic contraction, and a sense of hopelessness young people are feeling about their futures.
As a private sector led initiative, YES empowers businesses to create jobs for our unemployed youth. We’re youth-focused and business-led.
By placing youth in roles that will upskill them, encourage greater levels of entrepreneurship, and/or forge longstanding career-paths, we are creating a multiplier effect; where one job can create ten or more.
Answering questions for the forward-thinkers who want to create an impact:
1. What are some sustainable career options for the youth I want to place through YES?
Every sector in South Africa’s economy is important – and any company from any industry can place youth through YES.
A great part of the success of an economy is the labour market. The supply and demand of labour is ever-changing, especially with the advancement of technology and how it has affected the labour market. It has become increasingly important to work towards meeting global labour and productivity standards to ensure that the youth will be employed today and in the years to come.
Through both the internal and external models (the turnkey solution), YES Youth are being placed in sectors which are key economic and social contributors, such as healthcare, financial services, retail, education, early childhood development, eco-tourism and hospitality, and conservation.
More than this, YES and our partners actively seek to create jobs in ‘sunrise’ or future-facing industries that will prepare youth for the future world of work, sustain their careers, and put SA at the top of global industry rankings. These sectors include digital and tech, agriculture, processing and urban farming, global business services, green energy, mining, creative and drones.
2. What is the impact of these sustainable careers on country and economy?
Economic growth is dependent on the workforce, its skills, productivity and its ability to buy and sell goods and services. Sustainable careers grounded in relevant skills and in-demand goods and services bring long-term security for youth, the labour force, and the economy. This will have a dynamic impact on country and economy as both begin to function adequately to absorb workers and support the circulation of money.
With 7.3 million young people under the age of 35 unemployed and/or discouraged from job-seeking, increasing the amount of people who receive salaries and are economically active through YES is critical to lifting the burden on taxpayers, and rebooting our economy. The investment YES’s corporate partners make in youth help develop communities. These young people reinvest their private sector funded salaries into their communities, creating an ecosystem that benefits the development of small economies across the country. This results in young people not migrating to big cities for work, decentralising income-earning opportunities and expanding the population with buying-power to purchase from your business.
The YES salary expands far beyond the individual youth: 88% of YES Youth come from grant-recipient households, and 91% have dependents.
3. What do we do now to ensure we are future-ready?
It is vital that South Africa as a whole provides young people with the education, skills and experience needed to thrive as active economic participants. Skills and experience, particularly the latter, is what YES and its corporate partners specialise in.
We work with leading businesses in various sectors to provide 12-month quality work experiences for unemployed young people to be future managers, skilled employees, professionals, change-makers, and entrepreneurs who will drive their communities and the South African economy forward.
Creating jobs through YES is a critical first step in rebuilding South Africa and ensuring thousands of young people are on the path to long-term, productive and meaningful employment in relevant sectors.
Research shows that investing in economically vulnerable groups such as young women results in an increase of business productivity and skills, creating jobs that will in-turn create more jobs.
Your investment in our SA youth pays off
Chulumanco Lonwabo Nomtyala, 25 years old, was born at Nomlacu, and is currently based in Bizana in the Eastern Cape.
Lonwabo completed an honours degree in Human Settlement Development at Nelson Mandela University. He has also completed several other digital qualifications.
Lonwabo, a YES Alumnus, saw an opportunity post-programme to help people with housing subsidy applications. He designed an app called Soft 4IR Apps that will help people seamlessly apply for housing subsidies. The app will give the applicant all the information they need to apply, streamline the process for municipalities to receive applications, and give them the opportunity to track their application throughout the whole process. Chulumanco is in the process of raising funds to build and develop this ground-breaking app.
Microsoft is further investing in this youth by providing small business support to help Chulumanco move his solution from ideation to implementation.
Through the support given by partners such as Microsoft, our youth have begun filling deep institutional voids in their communities through their experiences on the YES programme. Chulumanco is proof that your investment in the lives of our youth have a multiplier effect in the widespread community and economy.
Creating a future that works for all has been made simple with YES. Through effective collaboration, your company is able to create sustainable impact through youth job creation all while incorporating benefits that are specific to your company’s needs, policies, and targets. These include increasing levels on your B-BBEE scorecard and integrating your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) strategies.
Find the best YES model for your business
Place youth inside your business
Partner with YES to connect youth to job opportunities within your organisation. Give youth that vital first work experience and create broad-based social change, all while boosting your B-BBEE scorecard and ESG strategies.
For businesses placing youth internally, YES is a key pipeline through which you can select, develop and de-risk undiscovered, standout talent, previously locked out of the economy.
The YES turnkey solution
The YES turnkey solution works with YES-vetted host partners across South Africa to place youth. If a business cannot place youth in their own organisation, they have the option to place within our host partner.
The turnkey solution is a true one-stop solution for organisations looking to make all of the impact with none of the admin. Host partners are not only responsible for hosting youth, but also for recruiting, screening, and supervising the youth, as well as facilitating absorption on behalf of the corporate.
These high-impact sectors include conservation, healthcare, education, digital, early childhood development and more.
Historically, the focus of the YES turnkey solution has been to help capacitate under-resourced sectors in communities. We are now expanding the model to include future-facing sectors that have the capacity for high absorption, such as agri, global business services (GBS), tech and digital, and more.
Join the movement
Take the first step and change South Africa’s trajectory. Through inter-sectoral collaboration, we can build back better. Join over 2,200 companies signed on to YES and making difference.