South African-based mobile phone operator MTN on Wednesday confirmed its support of the Youth Employment Service (YES).
The mobile phone operator has committed to the creation of 1000 jobs within the first year of the initiative.
In March, President Cyril Ramaphosa launched YES, a business-led collaboration with government and labour which aims to empower one million young South Africans by offering paid quality work opportunities over the next few years.
The programme follows research undertaken by stakeholders which shows that one year of work experience, coupled with a CV and reference letter increases a young person’s chances of finding employment by three times.
MTN said it will be creating the 1000 jobs across its South African business and Group head office, covering both operational and functional roles.
“YES is an innovative social partnership that has the potential to be a significant catalyst for economic growth and development,” says MTN Group CEO, Rob Shuter.
“MTN loves fresh and bold solutions and that’s what YES is bringing to South Africa’s unemployment crisis. We’re proud to be a supporter of the YES programme and look forward to welcoming more companies to the YES Team so that together, we can drive sustainable change for the unemployed youth of our country,” Shuter says.
Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of YES, says the success of the initiative now lies in bringing scale to the operation.
“Research has consistently shown that young people, with at least a year of paid work experience, are significantly more likely to secure permanent employment after that first year. South African business holds in its collective hands the chance to turn the tide on the scourge of youth unemployment and we are very pleased to welcome MTN Group as one of the forerunner companies to Team YES,” Ismail-Saville says.
“The return on the investment in creating pathways for youth that are currently locked out of the economy will be a significant return for all businesses, in the longer term. On the other hand, the costs of ignoring six million of our marginalised youth will be a far higher price to pay, for our economic future,” she adds.
YES is supported by Government and the initiative is individually cited in the proposed amendments to the B-BBEE (Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment) Codes of Good Practice. Business and the public are encouraged to give inputs and comments on these amendments. Comments will be accepted until 29 May 2018.