Saying YES to youth employment

The youth in South Africa are disproportionately affected by high unemployment, with six million young people shut out of the economy. The Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative aims to provide one million opportunities for unemployed youth between the ages of 18 and 35 to prepare them for entry into the world of work over three years. It is a business-led collaboration, with support and financial incentives from government.

Discovery immediately joined the YES campaign and has taken great strides to create meaningful opportunities since the programme commenced in March 2018.

Within Discovery Health, we are aware of the significant costs of in-hospital palliative care. Also, most people requiring end-of-life care prefer to be at home. Combining the challenges of healthcare costs and youth unemployment, we are rolling out training for community healthcare workers as part of the YES campaign.

Discovery is also leveraging its wide network of partner companies in our Insure and Health supply chain to take up the challenge of providing work to young people.

Between October 2018 and June 2019, 517 jobs have been created in support of the YES campaign, with 12 within Discovery and 505 with our partners. Roles include administrative assistants, administrators, Avis Safe Drive public relations officer, call centre agents, data capturers, finance administrators, forecourt attendants, general workers, health and safety administrators, receptionist and healthcare workers. 

To support the success of these new entrants to the world of work, Learning and Leadership is working with the CSI team to develop an informal mentorship programme.

Key indicators

  • 517 jobs created in the 2019 financial year against a target of 450
  • 69.1% females and 30.9% males
  • 87.0% African, 12.6% Coloured and 0.4% Indian
  • 64% placed in Johannesburg, 29% in Cape Town and 7% in Durban.
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