Late last week the Nedbank Group hosted President Cyril Ramaphosa as the bank welcomed and inducted 3315 previously unemployed youth who are beginning their 12-month Youth Employment Service (YES) journey.
Nedbank announced earlier this month at a CEO Pledge ceremony in Tembisa, east of Johannesburg, that it had signed on to give these young people a first work experience as part of its commitment to the YES initiative, nation building and delivering on its purpose of using its financial expertise to do good.
“We are excited to be welcoming the youth intake and walking this new journey with them as they use the opportunity of a first job to develop their skills and experience to become leaders and inspiring, job-creating entrepreneurs,” said Nedbank Group chief executive Mike Brown. “We are certain that the experience gained over the year they will spend with us and our placement partners will be vital in affording them better opportunities in the future. Youth and SMEs are the backbone to driving inclusive economic growth and unlocking job opportunities.”
Brown and other CEOs reiterated their commitment to playing their part in fostering improved job creation for the country’s unemployed youth and helping drive a more sustainable and inclusive growth environment. Recent statistics have put South Africa’s youth unemployment rate as the highest in the world at 52.2%.
“Heeding the call to tackle the issue of youth unemployment is more than just providing jobs; it’s also about doing good for the communities in which we operate,” said Brown. “As a bank, we understand that the success of our business is inextricably linked to the success of the communities in which we operate and serve. We embrace our role in society as a change agent, as a contributor to nation building and an enabler of higher levels of inclusive, transformative economic growth.”
Addressing the YES recruits, Ramaphosa said their 12-month stints as part of the programme doesn’t have to be an end to their career aspirations. “You should use this opportunity provided to you through YES and companies like Nedbank to take up other opportunities, open new doors and rise to greater heights.”