The Youth Employment Service (YES) is a youth-focused and business-led initiative that addresses the country’s youth unemployment crisis by empowering businesses to create jobs for unemployed youth. YES has collaborated with over 1 550 businesses and created 129 000+ job opportunities with no government funding, inputting an estimated R6.8 billion worth of youth salaries into communities and the economy.

A room full of women and men with white t-shirts and orange peak caps.

YES works with business to create work experiences for youth and integrates seamlessly into the BBBEE scorecard, as well as environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies, the Mining Charter and specifically Social and Labour Plans.

Businesses can place youth internally or externally. By placing youth inside your business, you create a talent pipeline of employees who best match your organisation’s culture and values. Through the turnkey model, YES works with host partners to give businesses an affordable and reliable way to make an impact. YES is also able to offer a solution where your company supports mine-funded small and medium enterprises (SMEs) as part of your local economic development.

ESG strategies are essential for businesses, and YES can be integrated into ESG or Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) reporting, offering an effective way for companies to uplift communities in high-impact sectors. By providing work experiences in community-based non-profits and small businesses, YES enables youth to reinvest their earnings into local economies and uplift communities.

Mines can also grow their social impact through bolstering their SME development plans, and effectively boosting the capacity of local businesses. The ESG outcomes received through the YES model also assists businesses to improve their attractiveness to investors. The success of this model is exemplified by Anglo-American Platinum, recently recognised for its significant contributions to youth employment at the YES ESG Awards.

The social impact of creating jobs is often almost immediate, meaning one youth income has a rippling effect across families and communities. Businesses with YES can create economic success and empower the next generation, all while reaching their ESG/SDG goals.

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