africa|business|services|supply chain|sustainable|tourism

Bushbuckridge youth benefit from YES initiative

YES CEO Tashmia Ismail

YES CEO Tashmia Ismail

Photo by Creamer Media's Dylan Slater

23rd July 2019

By: Yvonne Silaule



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The Youth Employment Services (YES) is helping to create jobs for the Bushbuckridge youth within the tourism and hospitality industry.

YES CEO Dr Tashmia Ismail says more than 18 000 jobs have been created across the country through the YES initiative since its launch in March 2018.

The initiative has also helped to place some of its Bushbuckridge apprentices in lodges across the Kruger National Park.

“YES goes to sectors where there are jobs to stimulate. We do an economic analysis of sectors and regions and use a data-driven approach to decide on areas of focus. We have a close relationship with communities and lodges across Bushbuckridge, especially around the Kruger National Park,” Ismail says.

The first cohort of Bushbuckridge interns completed their work experience with Sabi Sands Pfunanani Trust in March.

“YES works across multiple sectors. Tourism and hospitality is one of six focus areas. Tourism directly and indirectly supported about 1.5-million jobs in 2017 . . . and there is potential to grow employment in the sector to 2.1-million jobs by 2028. We feel this industry has the potential to unlock many more jobs, especially for the youth of Bushbuckridge,” says Ismail.

“There are digital and ecotourism jobs, various jobs at hotels and restaurants, as well as opportunities in the supply chain to grow small business suppliers,” she adds.

Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency spokesperson Kholofelo Nkambule says the YES initiative affords the youth of Mpumalanga province an opportunity to be employed and get exposure within the tourism sector.

“With these job opportunities the youth will be able to showcase the various skills they have that can add value to this sector. This will further assist in alleviating poverty and we trust that, in the long run, some of them will even venture into their own businesses so that they can sustain themselves and have a better life. Young people are the future and by investing in their growth, we are investing in a better livelihood for our communities.

"We are excited that the national Department of Tourism has made this possible and we are able to reach young people from various parts of the province,” she states.

Ismail, meanwhile, says the tourism and hospitality industry offers employment potential across South Africa and that prospective employees do not need sophisticated qualifications to enter the sector.

“The tourism and hospitality industry provides easier entry into the working world. There is a strong future growth outlook for this sector, as it allows the inexperienced to gain experience,” Ismail says.

She stresses the importance for the youth to be employed in sustainable jobs.

“We know how hard it is for anyone to get a sustainable job these days and obviously it is a burden that puts most youth under pressure. We are passionate about changing youth's employment status by helping them get sustainable jobs and to be inspired and have the experience to start small businesses which will employ more young people."


Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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