BY : Thembi Chagonda | Managing Director | Global Business Solutions
Last year, the Commission for Employment Equity issued their 18th annual report. One of its findings was that the pace of transformation was not where it should be. This is extremely disappointing given that it is 20 years after the coming into force of the Employment Equity Act. As such, the practice of transformation should be well entrenched. This lack of progress can be keenly felt in the youth unemployment rate which has not seen significant improvement in the last little while.
According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the fourth quarter of 2018, the unemployment rate of South Africans between the ages of 25 and 34 was 38.9%. A significant number of unemployed youth have been without work for a year or more. The Youth Employment Services (YES) amendments, which amend the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes of Good Practice, is a step towards changing this.
What is YES?
YES was gazetted in August 2018 and is a partnership between government, labour and civil society. Through this initiative, companies have the opportunity to maximise their B-BBEE points.
The aim is to provide paid work experiences to 1 million South Africans aged, between 18 and 35, over the next three years.
The focus of this initiative is to:
Create new job opportunities for the youth in existing companies,
Develop the capacity of Small to Medium Enterprises (SMMEs), and
Create new SMMEs.
Who can take part in YES?
All companies – even those which fall under the Sector Codes – may participate in YES. Specific qualifying requirements are that:
Generic companies must meet the subminimum of all priority elements. In other words, they must not be discounted and the company must have attained an average of 50% across the three priority elements. This equates to eight points for Ownership + 20 points for Skills + 40 points for Enterprise and Supplier Development = 68 x 50% = 34.
What effect does YES have on my B-BBEE scorecard?
You decide to participate in YES, there are tangible improvements that you will be able to make to your B-BBEE Scorecard:
The QLFS for the fourth quarter of 2018 reports that 34.2% of the unemployed have a matric. This means that there is a wide spectrum of people who are eligible to benefit from the opportunities that YES provides. In the spirit of transformation, I encourage you to take part in YES.