Nedbank to sign up 3,315 youth as part of YES skills development partnership

Nedbank media release

Nedbank Group announced today that it will sign on 3,315 youth, aged between 18 and 29, as part of the Nedbank-funded skills development programme run with the Youth Employment Service (YES).

The YES initiative was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March 2018 as a joint initiative between government, business, labour and civil society to collectively tackle a national plan to build economic pathways for the youth. Nedbank has heeded the call by government to address youth unemployment, currently around 52,2%, as a national imperative by providing job opportunities for the youth at the bank and its sponsored placement partners WILDTRUST, Tradeway, UnlockD and ORT SA.

At the Tembisa YES Green Engine hub today, Nedbank officially signed the YES CEO pledge to provide 3315 qualifying youth with paid work experience over the next 12 months starting in May 2019.

Speaking at the pledge-signing ceremony, Nedbank Group Chief Executive Mike Brown said:

“In just a few days, 3315 youth will take their first step towards securing for themselves a stable financial future when they join the Nedbank programme. Nedbank is committed to playing its part to address structural and socioeconomic challenges in the country such as poverty, inequality and unemployment to improve the lives of all South Africans.”

Nedbank’s purpose of using our financial expertise to do good extended beyond lending and transactional activities, said Brown. “As an organisation operating in the community we understand that the success of our business is intricately linked to the success of the communities we serve. We embrace our role in society as a change agent and contributors to nation building.”

Globally, youth unemployment has been a growing problem. South Africa is no exception to this trend, which has seen youth become disproportionately affected by economic inactivity and unemployment. South Africa has an unemployment rate of 27,1%, with youth unemployment sitting at 52,2% – among the highest in the world. More than 3.3 million aged between 15-34 are neither studying nor working. Half of them have completed Grade 12 and are largely unemployable in the formal sector, unless they receive relevant training and work experience.

YES CEO Dr Tashmia Ismail-Saville said at the pledge ceremony today: “Nedbank has taken on the YES project in the true spirit of country building. They have gone over and above their own recruitment needs to create thousands of jobs in the most vulnerable of communities, thereby bolstering community-based programmes with deep impacts. This will extend into the capillaries of our nation through YES partnerships at community level.”

She called on companies across South Africa to join the YES pledge and be part of the nation building and inclusive economic growth story. Brown explained that the partnership with YES is important as it is aligned to Nedbank’s approach to transformation. “We know that the task of transforming our society and our economy is not an easy one. Government cannot do it alone, business cannot do it alone and Nedbank cannot do it alone. Transformation is much more than compliance with the codes; it’s a moral and business imperative to contribute to a sustainable future for all.”

Nedbank is actively playing its part by working with business, government, labour and civil society to address structural and socioeconomic challenges in our country. “We understand the importance of ongoing transformation, not only to remain relevant in the changing societies in which we operate, but also in supporting higher levels of inclusive economic growth,” said Brown. “This initiative is just another step in Nedbank’s transformation story and for the country.”

Youth on the Nedbank-YES programme will receive training to ensure they are equipped with skills to enter the job market once the one-year training programme has been completed.