NGO, NPO & Social Enterprise News South Africa

Yes, SAMED partnership aims to enhance youth employability

According to the South African Medical Technology Industry Association (SAMED), its partnership with the Youth Employment Service (Yes) has helped inject R90m into the economy through youth salaries alone.
Source: Mark Adams ©
Source: Mark Adams ©

The partnership encourages SAMED member organisations to participate in Yes and has so far seen 33 members sign up with several others in the pipeline. These SAMED members have placed youth both inside their organisation and externally through the Yes turnkey solution.

Tanya Vogt, executive officer at SAMED, explains the rationale behind the partnership, “SAMED is a voluntary trade organisation which acts as the united voice for a complex and diverse sector. We have a core focus on transformation in the medtech sector to create jobs, which is why we have partnered with Yes since 2021.”

Providing quality work experience

Young people continue to bear the brunt of South Africa’s unemployment crisis. Two in three young South Africans aged between 15 and 35 are jobless, according to the latest unemployment statistics released by StatsSA.

Research by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) shows the most effective way to enhance employability is to provide young people with quality work experience and skills – exactly what this partnership between Yes and SAMED aims to accelerate. StatsSA research has also shown that having prior work experience makes a young person seven times more likely to transition into employment. 46% of Yes alumni are currently employed, which is double the national average.

Capacitating the healthcare sector

Besides placing youth in their own organisations, SAMED members have become increasingly interested in placing youth in Yes’s vetted, healthcare implementation partners.

“One of the major challenges facing South Africa is the lack of access to healthcare, particularly in rural and under-resourced communities,” says Yes chief operating officer Leanne Emery Hunter. “SAMED members want to play their part in protecting the most vulnerable and many have used Yes’s turnkey solution to change youth lives and help capacitate this crucial sector in the process.”

“Whether placing youth in their own organisations or in healthcare implementation partners, SAMED members are showing that marginal investments in skills and employment opportunities will lead to exponentially larger changes in the labour market and broader economy of the country. 88% of Yes youth come from grant-recipient households and that first job for youth is the trigger to an economic cascade of events, rippling through families and communities,” Hunter adds.

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