Nedbank YES youth candidate makes winning start to life in the bank

Setshaba Sthembiso Phalane. Photo: Supplied

Setshaba Sthembiso Phalane. Photo: Supplied

Published Jun 23, 2024


A YES Youth candidate from Mamelodi, Pretoria, Setshaba Sthembiso Phalane, who has made a winning start to his Nedbank career, said his passion to continue learning has made him a role model in his community.

The 29-year-old joined Nedbank in 2022 as a service consultant after his year-long stint as a YES (Youth Employment Service) candidate.

At the bank’s 2023 formal recognition awards, his enterprising nature earned him the prestigious Top 3 CEO Apprentice of the Year accolade.

“People in the community keep asking how I made it into the corporate world, and now want to walk in my footsteps,” he said, recalling that he was unemployed for a year before getting the call that changed his life.

Three months after applying for YES Youth, he got a call during load shedding informing him that he must do assessments, such as credit screening and fingerprints.

“I live and breathe the Nedbank culture and values. I have acquired an incident reporter certificate, and during my tenure in the YES Programme Learnership, I was an auxiliary member of the Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) Forum, as well as a Well-being Champion,” he added.

“I did not think they would hire me, because I have long dreadlocks. But they took me as I am, something which stood out for me. I appreciate their welcoming acceptance and feel at home,” he said.

Phalane said he shares details of the Nedbank career site, which contains opportunities for YES Youth candidates, along with other helpful youth portals.

“I have always done more than what my job description entailed. By taking part in events such as Youth X Awards, there are opportunities to network and build relationships and collaborate with others in the organisation.”

Phalane said he believes in being “authentically myself” and not being afraid to ask questions or participate in engagement forums.

“I always want to do more and learn more. It still feels like a dream. But as a message to fellow YES Youth, I say, if you are not learning every day, you are not growing,” Phalane said.

“The Youth Employment Service is an important part of Nedbank’s overall young talent strategy. It is underscored by our commitment to be part of the solution to South Africa’s stubborn youth unemployment rates, and creating hope for our young people,” Deb Fuller, group executive for Human Resources at Nedbank, said.

“The overarching benefit of this programme is that of poverty eradication and job creation for young people who have never worked. The lack of work experience can be a great barrier to building a successful career,” Fuller added.

YES chief executive officer Ravi Naidoo said the initiative is the highest impact private sector youth employment programme in South Africa, working with more than 1 700 businesses to tackle the country’s youth unemployment crisis.

“Through our long-standing partnership with Nedbank, we want to see the youth in this programme flourishing and creating a better tomorrow, today. Through partnership with businesses like Nedbank, which have integrated the YES programme into their ESG agenda by placing youth in roles ranging from IT, HR and marketing to waste management, solar PV installation and ecotourism, an economic ripple effect is triggered, which helps reignite communities and our economy.”

Throughout South Africa, more than 145 000 quality work experiences have been created for youth in five years.

To date, the YES initiative has injected R7.9 billion into the economy via youth salaries, without government funding.