Five-hundred and sixty unemployed young people have been drafted into the 2019 Youth Employment Service (YES) programme at Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA), and began a 12-month employment period with the company on March 1.

The group will be placed in different business areas within VWSA across the country. The VWSA manufacturing plant in Uitenhage has employed 70 people, the VWSA dealership network has 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 that aims to enable young people (between the ages of 18 and 35) without formal qualifications to get work or 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. 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,” says Thomas Schaefer, chairman and MD of VWSA.

The YES Foundation together with VWSA worked with implementation partners Harambee and UNLOCK‘D to recruit and assess all the candidates. The implementation partners will also train the candidates to ensure that they are suitable and ready for the jobs for which they are selected.

VWSA will pay the salaries of each of the candidates who will receive work readiness training which will assist in preparing and guiding them through their work experience.

Candidates will receive intensive soft-skills training on leadership development, professionalism in the workplace, computer literacy and behavioural skills, for eight weeks prior to entering the workplace.

Candidates will also receive a smartphone, which will be used to monitor, evaluate and produce monthly reports on their performance, as well as feedback from the supervisors who have observed and had conversations with the candidate.

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