Youth Employment Service Initiative (YES Initiative)

In the 2018 the Youth Employment Service Initiative was published in the Government Gazette and became effective immediately.

The initiative is a business-led partnership between Government, organized labour, civil society and the youth.

Its aim is to create 1 million new 12 month job opportunities for black people by 2020 through paid, quality work experience.

It recognizes the critical roll the youth can play in our economy. An estimated 6 million young people are not employed.

It focuses on three areas:

  1. The creation of new job opportunities in existing organizations for youth;
  2. Promoting the capacity of small, medium and micro sized enterprises; and
  3. Creating these enterprises through collaboration with industry leaders.

Eligible participants are persons between the ages of 18 and 35.

Businesses can increase their BEE recognition level:

  1. 1 level for meeting the Youth Employment Target and 2.5% absorption;
  2. 1 level plus 3 points for meeting 1.5 times the Youth Employment Target and 5% absorption; and
  3. 2 levels for meeting double the Youth Employment Target and 5% absorption.

The Youth Employment Target is based on the higher of:

  1. 5% of the head count of a business;
  2. 5% of their average net profit after tax (npat) after their npat has been divided by R55,000.00; or
  3. As determined by a table based on revenue.

Businesses need to maintain or improve their previous year’s BEE rating in order to benefit from the initiative.

Existing employees cannot be replaced.

Where businesses are unable to create a sufficient number of new jobs themselves they may sponsor new jobs to be placed in Exempted Micro Enterprises (EMEs) or Qualifying Small Enterprises (QSEs).

It is critical that companies have the technical expertise and knowledge to implement the initiative and businesses need to think carefully before registering as a YES employer for the initiative. It is thus recommended that an employer seeks the assistance of a BEE or skills development specialized to help them plan and determine the targets their business will need to meet to contribute and benefit from the initiative.