The Youth Employment Service (YES) aims to tackle youth unemployment, and to “close the gap between earning and learning”. The initiative promises to be beneficial to youth across the country, especially those in TVET colleges.

Launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa earlier this year, one of the YES initiative’s main focus is to address some of the most pressing socio-economic challenges that young people face, particularly youth unemployment.

Another challenge young people face is dropping out of education institutions. This leads to being unable to acquire the necessary training and educational skills to find employment. There’s particularly high rates of TVET student dropouts, who themselves are unable to finish their qualifications due to the many unfavourable circumstances they are faced with.

A case study done by Koko Mdluli, a Masters in Education graduate from the University of South Africa (UNISA), reveals some of the challenges that lead to high rates in college dropouts. “The causes of student dropouts emanate from financial challenges experienced; accompanied by disadvantaged backgrounds, and institutional factors such as lack of career guidance, not identifying with the curriculum, poor enrollment procedures, as well as imperfect student-support services”.

Researcher Anele Mtwesi, of the Helen Suzman Foundation, finds the above challenges are because TVET colleges are overstretched. “Educational and administrative staff upgrades are badly needed. Better alignment between education and training, and the needs of the world of work, is crucial to their success,” Mtwesi notes.

These challenges show that the government needs to pay more attention to the TVET system in order to change the outcome. It also shows that there is a huge gap that needs to be filled by the government to help increase resource accessibility and to encourage investing in the youth.

"We know that millions of these young people do not complete school, when they do, they do not have the skills that our economy needs”, says Ramaphosa

Therefore, the YES initiative, in partnership with small to medium businesses and investors, aims to invest in youth development and job opportunities. Its intention is to identify markets that haven’t been tapped into, create a demand for these market-related jobs, and then create the necessary opportunities for the youth. YES also promises to provide the necessary training, and the creation of more paid internships for the success of black youth.

For more information on TVET colleges, click here.