President welcomes YES initiative

Friday, March 16, 2018

Amid preparations by government to upskill the youth through the launch of the Youth Employment Service (YES), President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed the commitment to public-private partnerships.

“Government is prepared to work with the private sector as partners in creating value and solving key problems facing the country. YES will lift the hope of many young people and demonstrate that we are able to achieve a great deal through dialogue,” said the President.

The President expressed his enthusiasm at the private sector’s commitment to build economically viable youth at a meeting with leaders of business in Sandton, Johannesburg on Friday.  

Deputy President David Mabuza accompanied the President at the meeting.

The YES initiative, in collaboration with the private sector, aims to empower one million young people over the next three years through year-long paid internships in companies.

The meeting brought together chief executives and other senior leadership from a broad range of leading corporations, state-owned enterprises and employment and skills development initiatives.

The meeting was a preparatory session for the YES launch set to take place on 27 March 2018.

On 14 March 2018, Cabinet agreed that President Ramaphosa would launch the YES initiative pilot at the Riversands Incubation Hub in Diepsloot.

At today’s meeting, business leadership threw its weight behind the youth initiative and gave examples of existing efforts to employ and upskill more young people needed to participate in the workplace.

President Ramaphosa thanked business for the considerable number of programmes in which companies were already engaged to empower young people.

Addressing YES partners today, President Ramaphosa thanked Stephen Koseff of Investec Bank and Colin Coleman of Goldman Sachs for leading the business community in opening the doors of opportunity for young South Africans.

He assured business that Cabinet was “very enthusiastic” about the YES initiative as a means to create pathways for young people. –

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