Each year,
there are 600 000 pupils in matric.


The Youth Employment Service

YES is one of the first social compacts between government, business and labour created to give one million youth one million opportunities to succeed, while securing South Africa’s economic prosperity.

Be a part of the movement to create a future that works.

What YES Does

Over the next three years, YES – led and supported by the private sector - will incentivise businesses to employ young people, giving them a chance at a life-changing first work experience. With a unique collaboration between government, labour, civil society and the youth, this represents a benchmark in fresh, bold responses to our country’s unemployment crisis.


The Problem YES Tackles

In the words of President Cyril Ramaphosa,

Our most grave and most pressing challenge is youth unemployment. It is therefore a matter of great urgency that we draw young people in far greater numbers into productive economic activity.

Six million young people out of work is a crisis for South Africa; our future workforce is not being educated, trained or employed. Compounding this, the longer people are out of work, the harder it is for them to re-enter the workforce.

Worse still, 56% of the million young people entering the job market each year don’t have a matric, giving them little hope of employment and leaving them vulnerable to a loss of dignity and succumbing to social ills.

YES acknowledges the following factors which impact on youth employment and aims to address these through its design and partnerships:

YES Needs You

With YES, you won’t simply be giving a young South African a job for a year – you’ll be uplifting them to take that first step towards a successful, lifelong career. Just one year of work experience, coupled with a CV and employment letter, increases their chance of future work threefold and assists them in being able to springboard out of being victims and into an empowered future.

Although the government is working closely with YES, the private sector is where the majority of jobs are created.

This is why YES needs you. Together, we can invest in the employability of our youth through inclusive models, creating a future that works for all.


Government have introduced a new Youth Employment B-BBEE recognition, allowing a business that meets YES targets and complies with registration criteria to move up a level on their current B-BBEE scorecard. In addition, to encourage demand-side job creation, companies employing black youth between 18 and 29 years old will qualify for the Employment Tax Incentive.

YES is applying fresh thinking to create new work opportunities; giving youth a chance to establish a future, becoming self-directed and restoring their dignity.


Your company’s commitment to YES is crucial to creating a better South Africa, and a better South Africa is crucial to businesses, society and the future of this country as a whole.

Take as many young people as possible into your companies, factories, branches and ground force. Give them a chance to prove their abilities and take on roles and responsibilities that prepare them for a future as the next generation of productive adults.

Businesses need to create new one-year positions for unemployed youth over and above current employment numbers. Contribute to the YES movement by employing a number of young people - or even just one person to mentor and develop into a contributing member of society.

If your company doesn’t have the capacity to host young people, you can still be part of YES. This channel gives large companies the chance to sponsor the salary for a one-year starter position at an SMME which lies closer to where the young person lives – allowing the larger company to qualify for B-BBEE recognition, while building SMME capacity and competitiveness.