New dti B-BBEE codes are driving business to create jobs for young people in automotive, banking, healthcare and other sectors across SA. Nearly 400 companies are already taking advantage of the new benefit aimed at prioritising youth employment on the national agenda.
The business-driven non-profit Youth Employment Service (YES) is registering companies to take advantage of the new benefits, and next week (18 March) starts a roadshow with the SA National Accreditation System (SANAS) to empower B-BBEE verification agencies to deploy the new codes.
“This will help achieve the scale needed to address current and unacceptably high levels, of youth unemployment in SA,” said YES CEO Tashmia Ismail-Saville at an industry event at the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) this morning.
Five companies in the initiative have already improved their B-BBEE rating by up to two levels, and an average of 673 jobs have been created per week in the four months from November 2018. YES is the only entity approved by the dti to register companies for B-BBEE benefits. Despite a March 2018 launch by President Ramaphosa, the YES initiative officially opened its registration portal four months ago.
In that time, Volkswagen Group South Africa created work opportunities for 560 unemployed youth through YES. Investec and MTN are also among the 378 companies that have registered for youth placements.
YES work experience is aimed at unemployed black South Africans aged 18 to 35. The initiative was designed to offer youth who remain locked out of other economic opportunities a pathway into economic participation. YES improves their employability with a one-year work experience, as being unemployed, in itself, is barrier to employment.
“We give unemployed young people an entry point into a market that often demands experience as a prerequisite for a job,” said Ismail-Saville. “We create that work experience opportunity in a country with six-million unemployed young people.”
Five South African companies have already increased their B-BBEE scorecard by one level, and four more are in the process of verification. Leniency in year one of participation means that companies are able to verify before the full year of the employment contract is completed.
The minimum passport into the working world is a matric qualification, a structural exclusion for more than 56% of youth who seek work. The YES initiative is one of the few opportunities open to these young South Africans, a point reiterated by SANAS B-BBEE accreditation manager Mokgadi Remeetse. Remeetse further explained why there was such a collaborative and innovative relationship between Government, business and labour on this particular youth employment programme.
Employing youth in local economies such as townships sees large companies able to invest in youth jobs outside their costly infrastructure. This is done through an innovative implementation partner model that not only improves the national employment rate but also stimulates growth in communities outside major cities where opportunity is currently concentrated.
“Some research points to a 5% drop in unemployment in lower income communities outside major metros translating into 1% GDP growth due to the amplification effect of that wage spend in those local communities,” said Ismail-Saville, quoting recent employment research from WITS University.
YES aligns with government aims to redress the skewed economic realities as outlined by the B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice.
Companies that participate in YES can earn points on their B-BBEE scorecard. YES is thus required to align with the B-BBEE race requirements stipulated in the Codes, which state that B-BBEE is intended for black, Indian and coloured South Africans.
We are structured to collaborate with companies that have chosen to adopt the B-BBEE mandate.
However, for those companies not wanting to participate in YES for B-BBEE purposes, we will connect them with all job-seekers who fit their job specification – regardless of race, and including white youth.
We have updated our registration process to provide an avenue for job-seeking white youth to create a profile (through our partner organisations) and be connected with such opportunities.
The YES movement is bigger than race. It’s about every South African with resources choosing to do what they can to reshape the economic future of our country. We invite you as the public to look for ways in which you can create jobs for our youth and ignite our economy. Let’s pull together to make a better future for all.
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.
How to Join the YES Youth Network Launched by President Ramaphosa? 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.
JOHANNESBURG – South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Tuesday that the Youth Employment Service (YES) will improve young people’s prospects of finding employment and would help to build a more inclusive and sustainable economy.
Ramaphosa was speaking at the launch of the Youth Employment Service, an initiative between business, government, labour, civil society and young people, at the Riverside Incubation Hub in Fourways, Johannesburg.
Under the programme, businesses will create one-year paid positions for youth aged between 18 and 35 with a minimum paid stipend of R3,500 a month.
Those businesses which do not have the capacity to place more people in their organisations have the option of sponsoring the salary for a one-year placement in small and medium enterprises or to help young people start and grow their own businesses through seed funding.
Ramaphosa said that the Youth Employment Service was a timely, worthy and ambitious response to youth unemployment in the country, saying that the issue was perhaps the greatest and most pressing social and economic challenge facing South Africa at this moment in history.