There is a growing need amongst Host Organisations for an extra pair of hands – you can assist as part of the YES Programme!
A non-profit organisation that focuses on poverty alleviation. A community healthcare clinic in the heart of the township. These are examples of organisations that are currently playing a big role in creating meaningful job opportunities for young people, and providing quality workplace experience and they are good at it! The challenge is, being non-profit organisations, by nature their resources are limited. They want and have the capacity to employ young people; however, they do not have sufficient financial resources to pay for these labour costs. Organisations can assist by sponsoring some of these jobs through the YES programme.
Unemployment in South Africa is rife, particularly. For employable persons below the age of 35, also known as the youth. According to the latest Stats SA estimates as at the end of August 2021, South Africa’s unemployment rate is around 34.4%. Amongst the youth, this figure could be as high as 58%.
The challenge is therefore twofold:
- People within this age bracket will be expected to be running the economy in the next 20 to 30 years, and how can they be expected to run the economy when more half of them are currently unemployed.
- Due to South Africa’s socioeconomic past around ethnicity, the bulk of the people in this youth unemployment bracket are Black persons, or African, Indian and Coloured persons as defined in the BEE codes.
How does YES work?
The Youth Employment Service (or simply “YES”) Programme was introduced into the BEE Codes in 2018 to address these challenges. Through the YES Programme, prospective measured entities are now able to obtain enhanced BEE recognition levels (a 1 or 2 level increase) on their BEE scorecard through SA youth employment.
This could be a strategy that works well for some measured entities who have the capacity to create jobs or have additional vacancies which they can fill with young people. However, for some organisations that want to help create youth employment, but do not have the capacity to take on additional headcount, this may pose a challenge. Therefore, what we have realised is that while there is often a growing motivation for organisations to want to create jobs and help alleviate some of the socio-economic challenges of the country. There is often a misconception that the jobs created as part of the YES Programme need to be within your measured entity and therefore companies become discouraged when they want to participate in YES.
Thankfully, it was built into the BEE Codes that YES candidates do not have to be hosted within your organisation in order to gain the enhanced BEE level recognitions. Sometimes it makes sense to capacitate another organisation that cannot afford the labour costs, while also helping the youth to gain the necessary workplace experience. This could be a small business or start-up, or could even be a non-profit organisation that does some interesting work for the community. These organisations are called host organisations, where the YES candidates will be “hosted” for the duration of the 12 months workplace requirement that is required by the legislation.
What we have also realised, as Transcend, is that there is a growing need by host organisations to take on more YES candidates. This is mainly because most of these YES candidates add tremendous value towards the operations of the host organisation. We spoke to some of our host organisation partners and interns to:
- understand this growing need
- understand how our clients and other corporates can help by fitting this into their overall BEE strategy.
How you can assist - and how host organisations can assist you!
Believers Care Society
The Believers Care Society is a non-profit organisation that does community outreach programmes that address poverty alleviation and unemployment. The organisation also runs a food bank that helps distribute food parcels to needy communities. They also have a dedicated Youth Development Centre, in addition to several skills development training programmes that they also run. Promoting youth interests and creating opportunities for the youth are certainly some of the values that sit at the core of the organisation.
For the past 11 months, the Believers Care Society has hosted eight young people as part of the YES Programme. These eight individuals were sponsored by some of Transcend’s clients from various industries, from ICT, to legal, and professional services. These clients have one thing in common, they all did not have the capacity to host these eight interns, but all have the passion for creating employment opportunities for young people in the country. The Believers Care Society had the passion to give them the necessary workplace exposure. unfortunately, the contract requirement for the YES Programme is 12 months; therefore, their contracts are coming to end this month.
We spoke to the Centre Manager of the Believers Care Society, Alex Iheme, about the needs of his organisation, his impression on the eight individuals who were hosted at his organisation this year, and how corporates are able to assist.
Immediately, he showed tremendous gratitude for linking the clients and his organisation with the respective candidates, saying that the organisation has been “very blessed” to have them on board. He highlighted the challenges and needs of the organisation as follows – naturally, as a non-profit organisation, they rely solely on donations and donors typically require these donations to flow down directly to the intended beneficiaries. Running an NPO requires significant human capital support, and quite often there is no source of funding for human capital support. Therefore, when a group of companies can pool together provide eight human capital resources to his organisation, it makes a big difference.
Furthermore, it is not only the value of the contributions that the YES interns gave his organisation that he highlighted; it is also the quality of the workplace experience that they also received which should be noted. A thorough needs analysis was conducted in the organisation and he mentioned that they outlined certain key areas within the organisation where there was a human capital shortage, and the programme was structured in such a way that the YES candidates were able to provide support, but most importantly to also gain workplace experience, in each of these key areas. For example, one of the interns is a client liaison officer at the job-centre whereby she assists with client management; another intern is an assistant fund-raiser which involves liaisons with donors; two of them assist in the food bank programme, including stock management and managing the packaging of food parcels; one of them manages logistics and dispatch, and is also supervising 8 other people, which already shows great signs of leadership potential; and lastly, the rest are in distribution and one of them is already doing the provincial reporting on behalf of the organisation. It is quite evident that the workplace experience provided was quite meaningful and will add value to their future employment prospects.
He then went on to mention the immediate needs of the organisation and how corporate organisations can help. Naturally, based on the success of the current cohort, they would absolutely love to retain most if not all of the current cohort. The positions that he mentioned above are quite critical to the operations of the organisation. They have already offered to pay, out of their own pocket, for the salaries of some of them for an extra month when their contract expires. That is how critical they have become to the organisation and how they do not want to lose them. Unfortunately, they cannot afford to sustain this beyond one month. That is why they are appealing to corporate organisations to sponsor more YES interns and the Believers Care Society is committed to giving them meaningful and quality workplace experience for the duration of their contract. Alex has already reached out to our learning and development team to recommend further candidates.
He also mentioned a second opportunity for youth employment creation in his organisation. The organisation has just launched a job portable on their website and they have an opportunity for two people, who would like to pursue a career in IT, to operate and manage the job portal. This is already an opportunity for companies that are looking to sponsor YES interns in ICT – the Believers Care Society is offering to give them the necessary work experience.
Another of our host organisation partners is the Braamfisher Clinic in Bram Fisherville, Soweto. The clinic opened in 2017 after a growing need from locals to have a clinic within the vicinity; whereas previously they had to travel distances to receive basic health care services. During the middle of a global pandemic, the Clinic’s work is probably more important now than ever before.
Similar to the previous organisation, the Clinic has hosted one or two YES interns on behalf of one of our clients for the past year. The Clinic is also non-profit and finds tremendous value in the extra pair of hands that YES interns provide. It was brought to our attention, through the following email received from the Clinic, the nature of the excellent work that one of the interns is currently performing at the Clinic –
“This serves to inform you that it was a great pleasure working with Sinethemba Molwana as an intern… he is a dedicated, passionate young man with full of respect for his job and superiors and co-workers, had good interpersonal relationship with patients and co-workers very excellent with time management and had a good communication skill.
I would be pleased to have his internship to be extended a little bit longer, if possible, it will be sad for the facility to lose such a vibrant intern"
Sinethemba, has also been hosted by the Clinic for the past 11 months in the admin department and is responsible for managing patient records and data capturing. The above email is from his manager. It is quite apparent from their feedback that they also do not want to lose him, and they would appreciate further human capital support.
We spoke to him regarding this excellent feedback and his growth. He explained that he also shares the same sentiments and that he would appreciate to be employed more long-term at the Clinic. He has a certificate in counselling and wants to study further in healthcare and grow his career further in healthcare. The opportunity at the Clinic was therefore a good match. He further explained that what motivates him as the fact that his also originates from Bram Fisherville and he loves serving his local community through a career that he wants to pursue.
He did further mention that the common challenge for young people like himself is gaining access to funding for further studies and gaining meaningful practical experience. His is therefore grateful for the opportunity to be on the YES programme at the Braamfisher Clinic. It is great to see such great ambition from young people on the YES Programme as well.
Interestingly, the client that sponsored him on the YES Programme is not even in the healthcare industry. However, they are quite passionate towards contributing to the country’s healthcare support during a pandemic.
Lastly, similar to the previous organisation, the Clinic is in dire need of more YES interns and more pairs of hands similar to the calibre of Sinethemba, and are committed to providing them with the necessary workplace experience.
Linking it all to your BEE Strategy
This case study outlines two organisations. However, these are merely two examples. We are receiving more and more requests for human capital support from smaller organisations and NPOs.
There is often a perception that the high unemployment in South Africa is caused largely due to not enough economic growth, and thus not enough jobs being available in the market.
While there is some truth to this, hopefully, this case study will highlight that there are actually jobs in the market that can empower young people and create opportunities. It is just a bit unfortunate, but maybe an opportunity, that a lot of the jobs available are in the non-profit sector where these organisations rely on funding and cannot necessarily afford to pay for these skills.
There is therefore a threefold opportunity in the market –
- These types of organisations are in dire need of extra pairs of hands, and are willing to put in the time and effort to train and upskill young people to give them a better chance at future employment.
- Young people are hungry, ambitious, willing to learn and are also in dire need of jobs in order to improve their skills, employability and livelihoods.
- Corporate organisations are able to participate by sponsoring some of these jobs in the form of monthly YES stipends and fees during the course of the 12-months YES programme. This sponsorship will not only result in an enhanced BEE recognition level or 2 for your organisation but will also go a long way in addressing employment creation for young people. It also assists some of the non-profits, such as those mentioned in this case study, to continue doing great work in addressing the socio-economic challenges of the country.
We would really like to call upon you to consider a continual investment in youth job creation. The YES interns mentioned in this case study were all recruited from Transcend’s learning and development programme. Transcend has a rigorous learner onboarding programme, from the recruitment phase, to managing the criminal and credit check process, to managing the relationship between the sponsoring organisation and the host organisation. We are able to do the same for your organisation.
We try to understand the challenges and opportunities. We do a thorough strategy development for the client, and a thorough needs analysis with the host organisation, to determine where the gaps are, in addition to also understanding the journey and growth of the YES intern.
If you need assistance with your BEE strategy, or putting together a strategy for the YES programme and your BEE journey, or if you are interested in implementing the YES programme but are concerned about the capacity constraints in your organisation in hosting all of the YES interns… We would really welcome a discussion with you therefore please do not hesitate to get in touch with us to arrange a call.