The Youth Employment Service (YES) was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa on March 27th 2018. Four years in the making, YES was born in the Youth Employment Accord signed by government, business and labour in April 2013 which committed the social partners to a plan of action which included:
- The public service to focus its internship programme, aiming at employing 20 000 interns over a period of time;
- State-owned enterprises to develop placement opportunities for TVET and University students who need work experience as part of completing their studies;
- Business organisations to discuss within their structures programmes which would improve the employment of young people;
- Targets for the employment of young people in growth sectors such as solar heating installation, the government infrastructure programme, and business process outsourcing companies such as call centres;
- The Expanded Public Works Programme and associated programmes such as Working for Water, health brigades and literacy brigades to set youth employment targets.
The business organisation The CEO Initiative took this forward and now YES is one of the first social compacts between government, business and labour, created to give one million youth one million opportunities to succeed over three years.
“This is a timely, worthy and ambitious response to youth unemployment, which is perhaps the greatest and most pressing social and economic challenge facing our country at this moment in our history. What we are seeking to do, through this and other initiatives, is to provide pathways for young people into the world of work.”
Read more here: BBQ Online
About the Author:
Dr Penny Abbott is Research and Policy Advisor to SABPP and author of the SABPP Fact Sheet on the Youth Employment Service. This article is an extract from the Fact Sheet.