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Are You Making A Difference?

South Africa needs a good news story. One that would be referred to in the annals of history as having had the biggest impact on alleviating the scourge of unemployment amongst  youth in our country.

YES is a government-driven, fully supported initiative that encourages South African business to ‘employ’ black South African youth in order to upskill them and give them the much-needed experience to join a professional environment.

To this end, Summit has recognised the potential of this initiative to address the scarcity in skills amidst the youth, but also the advantages for business were the programme to be implemented as it was intended.

Our team sat down with Summit Managing Director, Matthew Lambert to gain a broader understanding about YES and what is can do for South Africa and businesses that opt to participate.

Why would you advise that business participates in YES?

One of the most critical advantages is that as an industry, we have an opportunity to address one of the most critical, structural challenges within South Africa, namely youth unemployment. The additional benefits to this is an opportunity to increase your overall BBBEE level by up to two levels. This can be a great incentive if it isn’t possible through various other mechanisms within your industry-specific scorecard.

How can Summit assist a business to participate in YES?

Summit can assist by walking your business through the process of collecting the relevant documentation that needs to be submitted and uploaded on your company’s behalf. We also assist to guide you in the particular YES pathway that’s right for your company and advise on the best recruitment and training for your YES individuals in respect to your business objectives.

What expenses would business field, if any?

The YES targets are structured on the minimum expenditure amount of R55,000 per a person, per annum. This would be broken down into the following (minimum parts):

  • R42,000 salary per annum (R3,500 per a month as per the National Minimum Wage Act, although this may vary depending on hours worked).
  • The balance of R13,000 doesn’t require an explicit outline in terms of spend, although  his amount needs to be spent on developing the skill-set of the YES individual, the structure of which is up to your business.
  • What is clear within the codes is that up to 50% of the skills development expenditure for YES individuals can be spent on informal skills’ expenditure Category F and G.
  • Thus, using the aforementioned amount of R6,500 (50% of R13 000) on informal skills development expenditure and the balance on accredited skills expenditure.

It is important to note that companies who are unable to contribute as per the above amounts can still participate in YES by hosting the YES individuals in their workplace.

Why is Summit in a position to guide business achieve their YES targets?

Due to the fact that we have trained and recruited 1,350 YES individuals to date we are in a strong position to advise companies on their own YES initiatives.

We have come to understand through our experiences some of the most critical elements which invariably ensure the success of a programme.

One of the most critical elements which some companies are failing to realise, is to ensure they have recruited well and put structures in place to retain their YES individuals.

This is imperative because as a company you want to fulfil the quality of work experience set out by YES programme (for more information click this link) and a YES individual has to be on the programme for a minimum period of eight months in order to be recognised as a YES individual for the relevant verification period.

To understand, the stipulated requirements and working through the costing of YES as well as making concessions for some ‘dropouts’ will help immensely.

How does it work?

Assume your YES target is 100-learners working below projected dropout rates (i.e. individuals who are not on the programme for the minimum period of eight months due to a host of reasons excluding being permanently employed):

  • You have a dropout rate of 20% you would need to recruit and enrol 125 YES individuals to get 100 individuals completing the programme at the end of the 12- month period.
  • You have a dropout rate of 10% you would need to recruit and enrol 111 YES individuals to get 100 individuals completing the programme at the end of the 12- month period.

Therefore, a higher dropout rate can lead to more costs being incurred on the programme – without any benefit to the YES individuals or the business.

Our experience in structuring the right recruitment, training and workplace experience we can ensure this doesn’t happen. Our ability to provide training that has real business impact also allows the company to develop a strong pipeline of individuals that a business is able to absorb into their organisation after successful completion of the YES programme.

What should companies expect from YES (youth) during the programme?

Companies should expect to get individuals (for the most part) that are excited to learn , be coached and put to use in the business.

What is the minimum time that a learner moves through the YES programme?

As per the National Gazette, the learner needs to be contracted for a minimum period of 12-months. In order for a business to recognize a learner for verification purposes, they need to have been in the programme for a minimum of eight months.

What are the potential tax benefits?

YES individuals qualify for the Employment Tax Incentive from a business perspective which can amount up to R12,000 per annum or R1,000 per month, depending on the stipend that a YES individual is paid.

Can youth be employed on a part-time basis?

The minimum employment contract period is 12-months on a full-time basis.

Are YES initiatives separate from learnerships, internships and opportunities?

This was made very clear by the codes of good practice and National Gazette that YES individuals cannot be part of a learnership , apprenticeship or internship.

Do youth need to be unemployed before embarking in a YES programme?

Yes. Individuals must be unemployed before embarking on the YES programme, they are required to submit a self-declaration in respect of their unemployment status prior to enrolling on the programme.

For further information or more about how Summit can help your company successfully participate in and reach YES targets, contact us today.

012 942 5781