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How the mining sector can unearth SA’s most valuable resource with YES

The South African mining industry can play an important part in tackling the country’s unemployment crisis, particularly when it comes to youth employment and the upliftment of mining communities.

The Youth Employment Service (YES) partners with mining companies to help them achieve the objectives detailed in the Mining Charter. Through YES and its turnkey solution (implementation partner model), the initiative can assist businesses in structuring sustainable programmes in mining communities, with a focus on historically disadvantaged South Africans, specifically youth, as well as the creation of non-mining jobs.

YES is working with mining businesses to create work opportunities for youth in high impact sectors that help build thriving communities, such as education, healthcare, conservation, digital and small-, medium- and microenterprise (SMME) development.

This provides a solution for mining companies and suppliers wanting to contribute to easing the youth unemployment crisis, to achieve their sustainability goals, and/or to improve their Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBBE) scores.

YES, through this model, is helping mining organisations deliver on their social and labour plans (SLPs), focusing on the principles of promoting employment, advancing social and economic welfare, contributing to the transformation of the mining industry, and ensuring that mining companies uplift and develop the areas where they operate.

The YES turnkey solution can help companies deliver on their SLPs, integrate into their environmental, social and governance (ESG) goals and achieve their sustainable development goals (SDG) as needed by their investors and consumers.

How to create opportunities for youth through YES:

Through YES, companies can sponsor 12-month income-generating work experiences for youth, and reap the B-BBEE benefits and more. There are two models through which an organisation can place youth.

First, an organisation can choose to place youth internally within their own business structures. Second, the turnkey model allows companies to sponsor the placement of YES youth in third-party enterprises or community-based non-governmental organisations (NGOs) or SMMEs as healthcare workers, teaching assistants and more.

This model is becoming more and more popular in the mining industry as it assists these organisations in delivering on their local economic development (LED) plans.

In return, companies can receive up to two B-BBEE levels on the scorecard, and/or integrate them seamlessly into their ESG/SDG strategies.

The impact of the turnkey model:

The benefits of the YES turnkey solution for communities are wide-reaching. The YES implementation partners (IPs) are generally NGOs working in high-impact sectors in communities, meaning youth work directly in industries and roles that build their own communities.

Essentially, the turnkey solution focuses on bolstering and boosting local economies all over the country, so that they can contribute meaningfully to the broader South African economy. Through YES, youth from across the country get a critical chance to play an active role in resetting the economy.

The YES turnkey model offers several advantages:

1:  Convenience: companies that are unable to accommodate youth within their own structures can sponsor the placement of YES candidates in vetted third-party organisations, meaning less administrational burden with more impact.

2: Quality vetted partners: the initiative identifies suitable third-party host organisations from its network of partners that can recruit and provide youth with quality work experiences.

3: A wide range of jobs: 33 IPs, or host partners, have been vetted across various sectors, translating to a wide range of jobs that deliver social impact. These include education, healthcare, SMME development, digital, early childhood development, manufacturing, agriculture, conservation and marketing and sales.

How YES supports SLPs:

The local economic development plan ensures that mining companies contribute to the development of communities where activities take place and where workers are recruited. YES helps capacitate local businesses, schools, clinics and NPOs with dynamic young people who are eager to learn and grow their careers. This feeds into poverty eradication and upliftment of communities and economies.

Say YES to a future that works for all. Go to www.yes4youth.co.za to find out more.

This article was originally published in Mining Weekly. Find it here.