Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Employment of young South Africans a priority this Youth Month, says YEI

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Johannesburg, June 16, 2013 – This Youth Day, Non-Profit Organisation, the Youth Employment Index (YEI), urges all organisations to consider the rights of the country’s youth to gainful employment and career development.

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 corporate South Africa.

“The YEI views youth employment as a basic human right, and testifying to this is Mazars’ internationally recognised human rights audit,” said Nazreen Sekao Pandor, chairperson of the YEI and associate director at Mazars. “Whilst this should be an on-going obligation, we encourage all corporates this youth month, to uphold this right and do their part in employing and developing young people in their companies.”

The current unemployment rate among South Africans aged 15 to 24 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 economic and social implications of this are profound – the 2012 World Bank report, Inequality of Opportunity in SA attributes the country’s weak economic performance to slow job creation and highly unequal access to employment opportunities among this age group in particular.

Launched in April this year, the YEI is an online index (http://www.yeindex.org) whereby employers of all sizes, be they government, parastatal, corporates or SMEs, can register and be instantly recognised for their efforts to actively promote and support youth employment.

The YEI is in the process of devising a viable framework for sustainable youth employment and constructive skills transfer in the workplace, in consultation with dynamic young professionals. 

While government policies to incentivise the employment of young South Africans are needed, we believe that it is both corporate and SMME employers that will have to come up with a sustainable solution to the problem of youth unemployment.

As such, the YEI invites other corporates to sign on as founder members that will assist in developing this framework and establishing benchmarks for sustainable youth employment and development.

For more information or to register with the YEI, visit www.yeindex.org.