President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative at the Riverside Incubation Hub in Fourways, Johannesburg on Tuesday, 27 March.
The YES initiative aims to see more than one million young South Africans being offered paid work experience over the next three years, as part of placing the needs of and opportunities for young people at the centre of inclusive economic growth.
The initiative takes the form of a partnership – led by President Cyril Ramaphosa – between government, business, labour and civil society.
The president said the programme has three channels through which employment opportunities can occur:
• Corporate work experiences: businesses that participate in the programme create one-year paid positions for youth aged between 18 and 35, in addition to these organisations’ current employment numbers.
• SMME host placements: businesses that 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 (in year one for 7 to 10 months); and
• SMME development: young people are empowered to start and grow their own businesses, with support from YES in the form of training, seed funding and value-chain integration.

He further mentioned that many young people send their CVs through emails and whats-apps, but never get response.

“We are also aware of the costs they incur to try and find work and when they do, they find that it is far from where they live.
“Research has shown that one year of work experience, coupled with a CV and reference letter, increases a young person’s chances of finding employment by three times,” said President Ramaphosa.

SAYC President Thembinkosi Josopu said they were worried about the commitment to create jobs for the young people.

He also mentioned that they have submitted some concerns regarding the initiative and hope they will be attended to.

“Young people do not want handouts or charity cases, they want to be contributors in the economy of the country,” said Josopu in his conclusion at the YES initiative launch.