President Cyril Ramaphosa is calling on businesses in South Africa to harness skilled, talented and experienced young people while incentivising tax reductions for businesses that do so.
Writing in his weekly open letter to the public, Ramaphosa said businesses must take advantage of the Employment Tax Incentive to hire more young people and create learnerships.
Ramaphosa said that businesses could use an online platform called SAYouth.mobi to publicise opportunities that exist in their companies.
“There are currently 2.9 million young people registered on SAYouth.mobi, and many organisations, companies, and departments use the platform to provide opportunities to young people.”
The President was writing on the successes of the Youth Employment Programme that seeks to ready the youth of South Africa for working life.
Regarding the Youth Employment Programme, Ramaphosa said that the quality work experience and training provided by this programme address the concerns of many businesses that young applicants lack skills and experience.
He added that by the end of August, 245,000 young people will finish their ten-month placement in schools and will join the ranks of approximately 600,000 young South Africans that have participated in the youth employment initiative since its launch in 2020.
According to the Department of Basic Education, the programme currently supports 22,000 schools across the country in infrastructure and social initiatives.
The programme also provides a monthly stipend to young people and a platform to get work experience and skills.
They have received accredited training across several disciplines, ranging from digital literacy to basic bookkeeping, from child and youth care to bricklaying, plastering and plumbing, said Ramaphosa.
“Of approximately 60,000 teachers and principals surveyed, more than 95% say the programme has greatly improved the learning environment in our schools and want it to continue.”
The school assistant programme is part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus, the largest youth employment intervention in our country’s history, which has to date reached close to a million participants.
“Having provided opportunities to these thousands of young people, we now need to open their path to formal employment, further education or entrepreneurship,” said the president.
“As we build on the successes of this programme and bring opportunities to more young South Africans, I call on all of society – whether as businesses, community-based organisations or places of learning – to be part of building a new future for our young people.”