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Spotlight | Yes 4 Youth

YES: The gamechanger creating over R1bn in the youth economy | Interview with: Tashmia Ismail-Saville | CEO 

The Youth Employment Service (YES) is expected to generate R1bn in youth salaries over the next 6 months and is regarded as one of the highest impact youth employability initiatives in the world right now. Announced as part of the CEO Initiative, YES is a partnership between government, labour and business and is focused on creating 12-month work opportunities for previously unemployed youth.

Under the leadership of CEO Tashmia Ismail-Saville, YES has already created over 19 000 work experiences for South African youth. This number is expected to grow to over 40 000 in the next 8 weeks. If one extrapolates this number by the stipend of R3500 per month for the 12-month duration, this translates into well over R1bn in youth salaries over the 6 month period.

The B-BBEE benefits around YES
YES offers qualifying businesses significant B-BBEE benefits for creating work experiences for youth. Businesses can increase by either 1 or 2 levels when they absorb YES youth. A full breakdown of the benefits is available on the YES website.

Have businesses actually secured level-ups?
YES has a variety of case studies and examples of businesses who have already enjoyed “level-ups” on their B-BBEE scorecards.

Is YES just about the B-BBEE benefits?
Not at all. Many businesses understand the importance of creating opportunities for youth and the transfer of skills and for this reason sponsor youth without a focus on the B-BBEE benefits.

What kind of businesses are engaged in implementing YES
One of the positive aspects of YES is the vast array of businesses who have partnered with YES to create a brighter future for the country.

Our partners vary from multi-national businesses, major banking groups and high-growth small to medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) who are passionate about youth employability.

Can I sponsor a YES youth but not have to absorb them?
This is a question which is regularly asked and the answer is YES you can. Many businesses are keen to support youth but are not able to create a position or sufficient work for them. You may opt to sponsor a youth and YES will work with our Implementation Partners to find placements for them.

Is YES sustainable?
A major focus for YES is around the sustainability of the initiative. One of the biggest challenges that South African youth face is the inability to access a first job and build work experience. YES has examples of clients who absorbed 93% of their youth who completed their first year of work.
YES makes use of psychometric testing tools which lowers the barriers to entry as youth are judged on EQ / IQ rather than formal qualifications.

Who can apply for YES?
Previously unemployed youth (between the ages of 18 and 35) are able to apply to join the YES database. You can register online at the YES website. For more information on the Youth Employment Service (YES) please visit :