Volkswagen Group South Africa (VWSA) has created work opportunities for 560 unemployed youth through the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
The group began a 12-month employment period with VWSA on March 1.
The group will be placed across the country and in different business areas such as VWSA’s National Sales Organisation, in Gauteng, and in technical areas in the manufacturing plant, in Uitenhage, in the Eastern Cape, which has employed 70 people.
The VWSA dealership network has also taken in 230 people, while YES small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) host partners taking are 260 people.
YES, which was recently launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa, is a business-led collaborative programme whose aim is to enable young people (black youth between the ages of 18 to 35) without formal qualifications to get work and 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 socioeconomic development initiatives, such as YES, which are aimed at alleviating the scourge of youth unemployment in South Africa,” commented VWSA chairperson and MD Thomas Schafer.
“Our history shows that we have always been responsive to societal needs. 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.”
YES Foundation together with VWSA worked with implementation partners, Harambee and UNLOCK’D which recruited and assessed all the candidates. The implementation partners will also train the candidates to ensure they are suitable and ready for the jobs they are selected for.
VWSA will pay the salaries of each of the candidates and each candidate will receive work readiness training that will assist in preparing and guiding them through their work experience.
“To ensure positive integration into the workplace, successful candidates will undergo intensive soft skills training for up to eight weeks before they are placed at a workplace,” added Schafer.
“This training is aimed at creating the foundation for holistic development, as well as the candidate’s personal growth.”
Candidates will receive training on leadership development, professionalism in the work place, computer literacy and behavioural skills.
Candidates will also receive a smartphone which will be used to monitor, evaluate and produce monthly reports on their performance which will be shared with YES Foundation and VWSA.
The smartphone will provide information on the performance of the candidate, as well as feedback from the supervisor’s observation and conversation with the candidate.