South Africa - Cape Town - 13 February 2020 -President Cyril Ramaphosa deliver the State of the Nation Address before a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament. Since it is a Joint Sitting of both Houses, the Speaker of the NA and the Chairperson of the NCOP host the event. All the three (3) Arms of the State, namely; the Legislature, the Executive and the Judiciary attend this event. It is one of the rare moments whereby all three Arms of the State meet in one place. The theme for this year’s SONA is the same as that of the sixth Parliament: "Following up on our commitments: making your future work better.Photographe:Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

DURBAN - During the 2020 State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa made special mention of the great strides being made by the Youth Employment Service (YES).

Since the official launch of YES in November 2018, more than 550 companies have partnered with YES to create over 32000 quality work experiences. These are expected to inject more than R1.3 billion back into local economies through youth salaries.

This result makes YES one of the highest-impact, jobs initiatives in the country that is not funded by government, but leverages an innovative dti policy on the Codes of Good Practice to reward companies. The reward is a B-BBEE level up for an investment in youth jobs.

Research by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) indicates that the cost to the country of lifetime unemployment is R1.2 million per person. 

The 32,000 YES jobs equate to an investment of R1.3 billion in youth salaries for a year, which already breaks the scaring effects of unemployment, by derisking a youth and giving them the experience needed to launch into further work opportunities. We could then argue that YES is potentially saving taxpayers some R38 billion that it would have cost the country had those youth remained unemployed.

"Additionally, the 32,000 youth salaries have a significant implication on the socio-economic outcomes for youth, their families, and local communities especially considering the multiplier effect of this additional income for households and businesses," said Ismail-Saville.

YES Chief Executive Dr Tashmia Ismail-Saville stated that this achievement is testament to the dedication and efforts of not only the YES team but of the many partners who have come together to help build a better future for the country’s youth. Large corporates and multinationals, small businesses as well as ordinary South Africans have all played a role.

"It is enormously encouraging to see the number of businesses and ordinary citizens that recognise the untapped talent and massive potential of our country’s youth and have consequently become a part of building new economic pathways for under-35s to join the working world," said the YES Chief Executive.

The types of jobs YES is creating with partners are strategic and innovative, they have great potential for scale, social impact and longer term career pathways where youth are placed in rhino protection and game ranging opportunities, in green and blue economy jobs, as community health workers changing the health outcomes of their villages and towns and in a range of other high multiplier jobs. The benefits go way beyond just the job.

In another noteworthy achievement for YES, more than 101 corporates have achieved level-ups on the B-BBEE scorecards through partnering with YES and investing in youth job. Some companies have even achieved two level-ups by doubling the investment in youth jobs.

The state-of-the-art YES digitally delivered, soft skills and entrepreneurial training programmes on the YES apps also contribute to life-changing benefits for youth by greatly enhancing their readiness for the next career move and furnishing them with a credible CV and reference letter.