Ricochet News

Volkswagen tackling youth unemployment by providing work-experience

Mar 5, 2019
Volkswagen tackling youth unemployment by providing work-experience

YES, which was recently launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa, is a business-led collaborative programme whose aim is to enable young people (black youth between the ages of 18-35) without formal qualifications to get work/ internship opportunities for a 12-month period, with the ultimate aim of improving their chances of gaining long-term quality employment.

Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has created work opportunities for 560 unemployed youth through the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme.

The group began its 12-month employment period with VWSA on 1 March 2019. The group will be placed across the country and in different business areas such as VWSA's National Sales Organisation in Gauteng and in technical areas in the manufacturing plant in Uitenhage which has employed 70 people.

The VWSA dealership network has also taken in 230 people with YES Small Medium Enterprise (SME) host partners taking 260 people.

YES, which was recently launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa, is a business-led collaborative programme whose aim is to enable young people (black youth between the ages of 18-35) without formal qualifications to get work/ internship opportunities for a 12-month period, with the ultimate aim of improving their chances of gaining long-term quality employment.

''Volkswagen is committed to economic transformation and supporting socio-economic development initiatives such as YES which are aimed at alleviating the scourge of youth unemployment in South Africa.

"Our history shows that we have always been responsive to societal needs. Through the YES programme we hope to change the lives of our youth by giving them opportunities that will make them employable in the future,'' said Thomas Schaefer, Chairman and Managing Director of Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA).

YES Foundation, together with VWSA, Harambee and UNLOCK'D worked on the project

YES Foundation together with VWSA worked with implementation partners, Harambee and UNLOCK'D, who recruited and assessed all the candidates. The implementation partners will also train the candidates to ensure that they are suitable and ready for the jobs that they are selected for.

VWSA will pay the salaries of each of the candidates and each candidate will receive work readiness training which will assist to prepare and guide them through their work experience.

''To ensure positive integration into the work place, successful candidates will undergo intensive soft skills training for up to eight weeks before they are placed at a workplace.  This training is aimed at creating the foundation for holistic development as well as the candidate's personal growth,'' added Schaefer. 

Candidates will receive training on leadership development, professionalism in the work place, computer literacy and behavioural skills.

Candidates will also receive a smartphone which will be used to monitor, evaluate and produce monthly reports on their performance which will be shared with YES Foundation and VWSA.

The smartphone will provide information on the performance of the candidate as well as feedback from the supervisor's observation and conversation with the candidate.

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