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YES, Merchants partner for employment

THE PARTNERSHIP between the Youth Employment Service (YES) and Merchants, a leading global business services (GBS) company, has given more than 200 young people the opportunity to set a foot on the employment ladder.

In his 2022 State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa highlighted the immense job creation possibilities within the G33 sector (formerly known as the business process outsourcing sector), saying it could create more than 500 000 jobs. Last year Minister of Trade and Industry Ebrahim Patel announced that South Africa was named as the top global location for business process services by the Annual Front Office BPO Omnibus Survey.

Merchants, through its partnership with YES, is one of the first South African GBS companies to step forward and offer solutions to the youth unemployment crisis facing the country. Now in its third year, YES’s partnership with Merchants has seen a 24 percent absorption rate among youth who enrolled in their first two programmes. However, Merchants have gone beyond the legislation to find innovative ways of increasing employment and employability among its YES Youth.

The 76 percent of youth who were not permanently absorbed were offered further 12-month, fixed-term contracts post the YES year. All youth, of which 75 percent are female, had been placed in call centres across Gauteng, KwaZulu- Natal and the Western Cape. Merchants managing director Zain Patel said that as they continued to seek solutions from an unemployment crisis, YES had co-ordinated collaborative corporate efforts to bring hope and opportunities to the millions of unemployed youth through an initiative that provided them with quality work experience. “Engaging with YES as a strategic partner in this regard has been seam

.less, as we endeavour to further bolster our support for youth employment more collaboratively,” Patel said.

YES CEO Ravi Naidoo said: ” The CBS sector has been identified as one of the green shoots that can steer the country’s economic reconstruction and recovery in the aftermath of the global pandemic. YES is fully committed to getting youth into that critical first job, which could break the cycle of lifetime unemployment.”

YES’s initiatives and partnerships were said to have collectively paid South Africa’s youth more than R4 billion in salaries, which also benefited extended families and communities, introduced youth to the formal job market, and positively impacted on lifelong unemployment and poverty. Naidoo explained that the 12-month contract given to young people by YES’s partners enabled businesses to find the real gems who could add value to their enterprises. Furthermore, these young people added at least an extra year’s work experience to their CVs, making them up to three times more employable.

“At YES, our business-led collaboration seeks innovative ways to curb youth unemployment. We need to get youth working, or our country won’t have much of a future,” Naidoo said.

Original article- Cape Argus – Business Report.