Johannesburg, May 1, 2013 – As the country celebrates Workers Day today, the founders of the newly-launched Youth Employment Index (YEI) urge corporate South Africa to take into consideration the constitutional rights of young South Africans to meaningful employment, training and career advancement.
The YEI is a joint, apolitical initiative between global audit, tax and advisory firm, Mazars; leading rewards and recognition company, Uwin Iwin; and strategic communications agency, Pleiades Media – all of which have a shared passion to see sustainable youth employment placed firmly on the agenda of business South Africa.
“We regard the right to work for those who do their best to be gainfully employed as a fundamental human right,” says YEI Chairperson, Nazreen Pandor.
The YEI exists as an online index ( http://www.yeindex.org ) whereby employers of all sizes, be they government, parastatals, corporates or SMEs, can register and be instantly recognised for their efforts to actively promote and support youth employment. Organisations that wish to participate in the YEI can register the number of young people between the ages of 16 and 35 that they employ and to commit to developing these employees.
The growing challenge of unemployment among South African youth is an issue that has far reaching economic and social implications. The current unemployment rate among the 15- to 24-year-old age group is estimated to be 48.2 percent, just short of double the national unemployment average of 25 percent, (Source: Quarter Three 2012 Statistics South Africa Report).
The 2012 World Bank report, Inequality of Opportunity in SA supports this bleak statistic, attributing the country’s weak economic performance to slow job creation and highly unequal access to employment opportunities among the 15- to 24-year-old age group in particular, which is among the most challenged groups within the country’s population.
“We encourage all organisations to take seriously the challenges faced by young South Africans as they attempt to enter the job market and carve out a successful career,” Pandor says. “The YEI offers organisations the opportunity to showcase their commitment to youth employment, so we encourage every employer to consider joining this movement in an effort to improve the economic performance of our country.”
For more information or to register with the YEI, visit www.yeindex.org