South Africa: Youth Employment Service: Nedbank create over 3 000 jobs for young people

… Fantastic stuff. Cyril Ramaphosa’s Youth Employment Service (YES) programme is already paying dividends, as Nedbank created. thousands of jobs for the youth

By SAnews

Lebogang Sothoane is among the 3 315 young people, who on Thursday were inducted into Nedbank’s workforce through the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative. This brought an end to the 27-year-old’s four-year journey to find employment.

Completing her matric in 2011, Sothoane registered for a degree but was forced to drop out due to financial constraints.

“In 2014, I stayed at home, dropped out and in 2015, I did my Logistics degree through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme [NSFAS],” she said on Thursday.

What is the YES Programme?

Sothoane is among the inductees who will now work for Nedbank under the YES initiative that was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018.

YES is a government initiative that was developed out of a partnership between business, labour and civil society to help young people gain access to employment opportunities. The initiative is led by the country’s President himself.

Sothoane, who shared the stage with the first citizen during a panel discussion together with two other YES inductees, did not hold back in telling the President the challenges they faced in getting a foot in the door of the workplace.

Among the challenges she highlighted were being denied access to entry-level posts due to a lack of experience, as well as financial exclusion at tertiary institutions due to a lack of funds, and cases where one cannot graduate because their student fees are in arrears.

Nedbank on “meaningful” job opportunities

Nedbank Group Chief Executive Officer Mike Brown said the bank is taking on the youth as a way to make a dent in South Africa’s high unemployment figures. He said:

“[We want] to go beyond business as usual and create meaningful job opportunities for our youth. Our hope is that by giving youth the opportunity of their first job, they will go on to become inspiring leaders and entrepreneurs, who will in turn create job opportunities for many other future South Africans”

The President listened intently to the concerns raised by the youth during the panel discussion.

“I am troubled by this,” said the President referring to the country’s unemployment figures and challenges faced by youth in obtaining employment.

In many ways, said the President, Nedbank and other companies who have taken on youth employees have gone beyond the call of duty.

“There are so many unemployed young people. I have interfaced with it at a close range,” President Ramaphosa said, adding that the prerequisite for experience for young employees has turned out to become a barrier.

YES to jobs

To date, the initiative has managed to secure 17 000 work opportunities for unemployed youth, said YES Chief Executive Officer Tashmia Ismail-Saville.

President Ramaphosa recalled how in his youth, he received a hand up from two Jewish women who granted him a bursary so he could obtain a higher education qualification.

He urged those who are part of the programme to not be fearful of their employment ending after 12 months.

“The YES programme… opens pathways and many doors,” said the President in response to one of the concerns raised by young people.

He said many countries around the world have programmes made to empower their youth.

The President also had a few words of advice for the new recruits, urging them to work hard to show off their abilities.

“Sometimes you [will] fail but you must always know that once you fall, you must rise and rise to greater heights.”

Speaking to SAnews following her engagement with the President, Sothoane said she looks forward to giving her best in her new job at Nedbank, while also encouraging others to never give up.

“I advise others to go out and never tire. There are plenty of opportunities,” she said

Source The South African


South Africa: Youth employability a key issue for agri sector

The agriculture sector – which employs just under 1 million people in South Africa according to StatsSA – is crying out for a solution to its youth employability challenge.

This was one of the key takeaways from the Youth Employment Service (YES) participation at the recent CGA Citrus Summit held in Port Elizabeth.

“Lack of viable and sustainable youth employability solutions was a clear issue for all stakeholders,” says Lara Grieve, YES business development manager.

Grieve added: “What was clear from the event was that the agriculture sector is looking for ways to bring a more collaborative approach to the unemployment challenge, bringing government and the commercial players in the agriculture sector together.”

Borne out of the CEO Initiative, YES has become one of the highest impact programs in SA, creating on average nearly 700 work opportunities each week in its first five months.

These opportunities provide unemployed black youth (18 – 35 years old), the chance to access the workforce, gain valuable skills and earn a basic wage. Furthermore, these YES youth are equipped with smartphone devices to learn valuable skills including work readiness, health and safety, financial wellness and more through the YES application. YES also enjoys a strategic partnership with LinkedIn. This means that YES youth can access one of the largest professional networks in the world, and build CVs and references that put them in front of potential future employers.

A further benefit of YES is that it offers attractive benefits to businesses looking to improve their Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) scorecard rating. Qualifying businesses can improve their B-BBEE rating by either 1 or 2 levels by employing and absorbing YES youth, in line with the Practice Note issued in October 2018.

“Agriculture is an important sector for the South African economy,” says YES chief executive Tashmia Ismail-Saville, who points out that there is an over-concentration of youth looking for work opportunities in Gauteng, but finding themselves competing with highly-skilled people for entry-level jobs.

Ismail-Saville says that South Africa would benefit from a decentralized workforce where jobs are created in developing parts of the economy. “By creating employment in the agriculture sector, salaries and skills are retained in these regions, contributing to economic development. If we create 1,000 entry-level jobs in a region such as Limpopo or Nelspruit, we add R42m to the local economy.”

Source Farmers Review Africa