YES well underway to empower one million young South Africans

By: Youth Employment Service (YES)
Almost a month after the official launch of the Youth Employment Service (YES), Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of YES, is greatly encouraged by the ongoing support the initiative is receiving from business, government and labour.
The Department of Trade and Industry (dti) today called on companies to support YES after it announced that a skills development expenditure target of 2,5% for bursaries for black students at higher education institutions as gazetted on 29 March 2018 will not be a precondition to obtain BEE recognition as a YES participating entity.
Ismail-Saville commented: “We are delighted with the dti’s decision to delink YES and the bursary initiative – both noteworthy efforts to address youth unemployment – and we are already finding companies engaging; we anticipate they will now commit to YES more rapidly. The sheer scale of YES was always going to require solid support from government, business and labour to succeed. The dti’s decision shows the government’s commitment to promoting innovative ways to increase the participation of black South Africans and in particular black youth in the economy and YES can now proceed as part of that solution,” says Ismail-Saville.
In March President Cyril Ramaphosa launched YES, a business-led collaboration with government and labour, which aims to empower one million young South Africans by offering paid quality work opportunities over the next few years. The Gazette on YES was however published two days after the launch.
YES forms part of other initiatives driven by government this year to encourage investment to help grow the economy and address the issues of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
It is well-documented that South Africa requires GDP to grow at 5% or more to address unemployment, but this is unlikely and challenging when the country battles with a six million youth unemployment problem.
“YES aims to give that portion of our youth a crucial first chance to gain a paid 12 month work experience. This significantly increases their chances of securing permanent employment after their year,” says Ismail-Saville.
“The impact of this announcement from the dti has been extremely positive. It has provided much-needed clarity and confirmation for companies wishing to engage and sign-up with YES. A fresh wave of discussions has started as companies are now coming back to us,” says Ismail-Saville.
Companies who have indicated a commitment include: Absa, Afgri, Discovery, Exxaro, FirstRand, Illovo, Imperial, Investec, MTN, Nedbank, Netcare, Pick n Pay, Sasol, Shoprite, Spar, Step, Uber, Unilever and Woolworths.
Business and the public are encouraged to give input and comments as the public commentary process on the proposed amendments to the B-BBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) Codes of Good Practice is still underway and will close on 29 May 2018.
On 29 March 2018, the Minister of Trade and Industry issued the Reviewed Statement 000 and 300 of 2018 in terms of section 9 (5) of the B-BBEE Act 53 of 2003 as amended by Act 46 0f 2013.
Key to the proposed amendments introduced in the Statement was the YES B-BBEE recognition and a ring-fenced point indicator on the skills development scorecard for a 2.5% spend target on bursaries for black students attending Higher Education Institutions.
Following preliminary comments received since the Gazette on 29 March 2018 the dti agreed to delink YES and the Bursary target of 2.5%.
The dti will be hosting Advocacy sessions on the Reviewed Statements during May 2018.
For further information and to be part of #AFutureThatWorks visit www.yes4youth.co.za or follow us on:

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