Employment initiative an opportunity for youth to get head start

President Ramaphosa is flanked by the first 100 beneficiaries of the Youth Employment Service (YES). With him is Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Eskom chairman Jabu Mabuza.
President Ramaphosa is flanked by the first 100 beneficiaries of the Youth Employment Service (YES). With him is Gauteng Premier David Makhura and Eskom chairman Jabu Mabuza.
Image: Nomahlubi Jordaan

Janine McEwan‚ 29‚ had been out of a job for five years‚ but thanks to the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative‚ she is now among 100 young people who have been placed in various companies.

The YES initiative was launched on Tuesday by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Riversands Incubation hub in Fourways.

"This initiative has changed my life. I was not working for five years. Through it‚ I am now doing a learnership programme at Sasol."

Joseph Mahlangu‚ 26‚ is also‚ through the YES initiative working as a recruiter for Lulaway recruitment agency.

"I am so grateful for this opportunity because I also get to motivate young people to not give up.

"I was out of a job for a year after graduating in industrial psychology at the University of the Free State."

The YES initiative aims to see more than one million young people 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 Ramaphosa – between government‚ business‚ labour and civil society.

Ramaphosa said the initiative is responding to the "greatest and pressing" socio-economic challenge which is unemployment.

"We know that the depth of youth unemployment is huge and therefore we have to respond."

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