Putting a dent in unemployment

Investec was one of the first corporates to sign up to the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative, placing 3,100 young people into work since 2018. YES is a business-led initiative supported by government and labour to impact youth unemployment in SA.

Youth Employment Service initiative: 100,000 job experiences created


Investec, in partnership with YES (Youth Employment Service) and ORT SA Cape invested in Unathi Thembani, who until a few years ago, was unemployed and battling to support her daughter. She's now a fully qualified Grade R teacher and a role model for other single mothers in her community. 

This video shows how consolidating infrastructure and social investment into one community maximises economic development. Hear from some of the youths who've been liberated from unemployment. 

What is YES?

President Cyril Ramaphosa with former Investec CEO Stephen Koseff

Launched in 2018 by President Cyril Ramaphosa, YES – together with over 2,200 partner companies – has created 100,000 work experiences for previously unemployed youth who would otherwise have had limited opportunities for employment.

These partnerships have injected about R6 billion into the economy through salaries that have been transferred into youth workers' wallets.


Impact in numbers


Total number of work experiences created since 2018


Number of work experiences Investec sponsored

R6 billion

Amount injected back into the SA economy

How does the model work?

First of the YES Cohorts

The YES 12-month quality work experience addresses the common conundrum faced by matriculants or degreed young people who cannot secure their first job because they lack the necessary work experience.

The Investec-YES work experience provides unemployed youth with a toolkit to be a beacon of hope for their families, households and communities. The CV & reference letter they get at the end of their 12 months gives them a 3 x greater chance of an interview call-back.

x 3
Chances of getting a call back for permanent job after YES internship

YES Investec Showmax documentary: The Great Reset

Over 50% of young people in South Africa are unemployed. The Great Reset Showmax documentary tells the stories of young people who've been given a chance via YES and are now gainfully employed. 

Fani Titi, Group CEO, Investec
Fani Titi, Investec Group Chief Executive

I’m proud of what we have achieved so far through YES and our eight partners. But the youth unemployment crisis can only be solved through collaboration. I’m calling on other corporates and businesses to join us in broadening this initiative and giving deserving young people that all-important first chance.

Ravi Naidoo, YES CEO
Ravi Naidoo, YES Chief Executive

While the solution to the youth employment crisis is improved quality schooling and economic growth, YES is a critical component of the long-term solution for South Africa.