In 2018 our newly minted State President, Cyril Ramaphosa sponsored a revolutionary initiative to improve much-needed job creation amongst our youth in South Africa. The programme was called “YES” which stands for Youth Employment Services. Its main thrust is to provide a million youth with first-time work experience in multiple business sectors and skills. With unemployment levels in South Africa in double digits, this initiative has been welcomed by government and business with open arms!
Use – It in collaboration with Nedbank, Wildlands Conservation and Heart Eco took on 29 trainee candidates in 2019. They were able to utilize the Hammersdale Waste Beneficiation Site to host them in developing their woodworking, crafting, landscaping and administration skills for the duration of the programme. This project is called “Ulusha Labadidyeli” which means Youth Inventors and Makers. Incubator rooms were subdivided to provide separate training topics.
The trainees (all locally sourced from the Hammersdale Mpumulanga township wards) underwent 12 months of intensive skills training and are set to exit the programme this March 2020. We will at that time have had a 48% successful placement of these delegates into full-time employment. The “YES” programmed only requires 2,5% placement criteria.
For March 2020 we will be taking on 43 new trainees for comparable type training. Currently, our biggest challenge remains in creating opportunities for job continuation between all “YES” training institutions and small and medium business enterprises in South Africa. Accreditation and formal recognition of prior learning or skills development resulting from “YES” programmes still need refinement to provide a stronger “pull-through” learning experience and improved job opportunities.