This is a two part series on the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme. In this second part we look at how SME owners can apply and benefit from the YES programme. See the first part about youth seeking employment here.
As a small business owner, it is especially important to be clued up on the YES programme and the B-BBEE Codes broadly. YES is widely known, but if as a small business, you cannot participate see if your larger network is interested in participating, but requires a host [under the programme, businesses which do not have the capacity to place more people in their organisations have the option of sponsoring the salary for a one-year placement in small and medium enterprises]. If you are a suitable host, you would not only be adding value to your customers, but you would also be able to take on an extra headcount that would be on the payroll of the YES-registered entity.
YES employers are expected to keep progress reports and be able to advise YES candidates on absorption
The YES programme is meant to have positive impact on the youth and for SMEs, but this relationship must be beneficial for all. Be mindful of the core services you render and host youths that can add value in those areas – take this opportunity to better your workforce.
Ensure that the candidates add value to the business. YES employers are expected to keep progress reports and be able to advise YES candidates on absorption, so keep the YES employer (sponsor) in the loop on the progress of the candidates.
It is very important to remember that youth unemployment and the struggle for SME growth affects us all
The duration of the YES programme is a year long, and in order to move up a level at 2.5% – 5% absorption is required of the YES employer. If you would like to keep a YES candidate, you should budget for this candidate to take them up in your payroll. If they are a superstar, they should be worth it for your business. If you may require a bit of assistance, consider entering into an ESD programme (if you qualify) that can help you manage the absorbed candidate’s payroll.
In conclusion, it is very important to remember that youth unemployment and the struggle for SME growth affects us all. But for any system to grow, cohesiveness and effort from all sides are important.
As a corporate, endeavour to give all YES candidates a worthwhile and valuable experience, as a YES candidate – bring your best self to the work environment and roll with the punches, see every challenge as an opportunity, and as an SME hosting YES candidates be an ambassador for entrepreneurship, add value as a host and have a growth plan in mind.