President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed the commitment of the private sector to work with government under the aegis of the soon-to-be-launched Youth Employment Service (YES) to empower 1-million young people to become economically active over the next three years.
Ramaphosa and deputy-president David Mabuza led a government delegation to a meeting with business leaders in Sandton, bringing together senior leaders from a broad range of leading corporations, state-owned enterprises and employment and skills development initiatives.
The meeting was a preparatory session for the launch later this month of the Youth Employment Service at the Riversands Incubation Hub in Diepsloot.
The initiative, in collaboration with the private sector, aims to empower 1-million young people through year-long paid internships in companies.
Business leadership reiterated the support of the private sector for the YES initiative and gave examples of existing efforts to employ more young people and elevate the skills required to participate in the workplace.
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 also thanked business for the considerable number of programmes in which companies were already engaged to empower young people and said YES would “lift the hope of many young people and demonstrate that we are able to achieve a great deal through dialogue”.
The president adds that government is prepared to work with the private sector as partners in creating value and solving key problems facing the country.