by TINTSWALO BALOYI
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – ABOUT R6 billion (US$335 million) in youth salaries has been injected into the South African economy over the past five years since the launch of the Youth Employment Service (YES).
This has also enabled participants to support their families.
Government initiated YES in 2018 as an ambitious partnership with the private sector to address the crisis of youth unemployment.
President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke highly of the scheme, revealing that this year already, YES has achieved a new record of 32 400 jobs.
Currently over 1 400 businesses participate in YES, with the aim to increase the pace of placements as more companies come on board and more opportunities are made available.
“What sets the YES programme apart is that it doesn’t just create meaningful jobs,” Ramaphosa stated in his weekly letter on Monday.
“It also creates value for employers that are able to facilitate the entry of more young South Africans into the mainstream of the economy.”
To date, YES has placed over 100 000 South Africans between the ages of 18 and 29 in local businesses for a year of work experience.
An estimated 61 percent of YES participants come from households reliant on social grants.
Many youth have been placed in industries such as information technology, the green economy, systems and software engineering, app development and others.
In addition to facilitating work experience, YES also operates several training hubs across the country.
According to research undertaken by YES, an estimated 40 percent of participants are employed on completion of the programme.
South Africa is facing high youth unemployment, which peaked during the COVID-19 pandemic.
– CAJ News