Resounding Yes to SA youth empowerment scheme

April 24, 2018 7:07 am28 comments
SA Pres Cyril Ramaphosa

SA Pres Cyril Ramaphosa

by AKANI CHAUKE
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – AN initiative aimed at empowering 1 million unemployed South African youth has received significant support from business, government and labour.

Youth Employment Service (YES) was launched a month ago to offer the youth a first chance at a quality, paid work opportunity.

President Cyril Ramaphosa launched it.

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, Chief Executive Officer of YES, said the support so far had been encouraging.

YES on Monday received a further boost when the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced that a skills development expenditure target of 2,5 percent for bursaries for black students at higher education institutions, as gazetted on March 29, would not be a precondition to obtain Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) recognition as a YES participating entity.

Ismail-Saville expressed delight at the decision to delink YES and the bursary initiative – both noteworthy efforts to address youth unemployment.

“We are already finding companies engaging. We anticipate they will now commit to YES more rapidly,” Ismail-Saville said.

She said 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.”

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.
– CAJ News

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