GIBS has taken advantage of the opportunity presented by a partnership with the Youth Employment Service (YES) to raise its B-BBEE status. The partnership has enabled GIBS to become a Level 3 B-BBEE contributor.
At the end of May 2021, the rating agency, Inforcomm, confirmed GIBS’ new status as a Level 3 contributor. Dr. Morris Mthombeni, GIBS interim dean: “This is a level above the minimum required by many corporates and is a fantastic outcome. This is not only a result of considerable effort to fulfil the rating requirements but also our substantial investment in the YES programme.”
“We are fully committed to the ethos of B-BBEE and will be looking to further improve our status in the years ahead, not only for the school's benefit but for the benefit of our country as a whole,” he added.
A total of 25 YES candidates joined GIBS in December 2020 on a one-year fixed-term contract. The participants will be offered the opportunity to apply for and be granted a full bursary for the GIBS online Postgraduate Diploma for Business Administration (PDBA) programme upon completion of the year.
YES CEO, Tashmia Ismail-Saville, said: “GIBS forms part of a platform of businesses who understand they can make a bigger impact through collaboration.”
YES aims to create work experiences for youth at scale and has generated over R3.1 billion in youth salaries and more than 55,000 quality work experiences to date. The not-for-profit organisation, which has no government funding, has been supported by over 1,505 businesses since its inception. Over 500 businesses have already improved their B-BBEE levels through the programme.
Ismail-Saville explained that many young people continue to be excluded from the formal economy because of entrenched structural reasons, such as:
- A lack of access to networks
- Spatial distance from employment opportunities
- Education that is still very much reserved for the elite
“In addition, many young people have grown up in homes without working adult role models, and this contributes to a psychological trap where they feel excluded from the jobs market.” The YES programme offers one year of work experience to unemployed youth, changing this trajectory for many youngsters.
South Africa’s official unemployment rate increased to 32.6% in the first quarter of 2021, a record since the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) was launched in 2008, according to Statistics South Africa (Stats SA).
The youth jobless rate based on the expanded definition, which includes discouraged job seekers, now stands at 74.7%. Only one in four school-leavers who are 24 or under have a job in South Africa.
Ismail-Saville: “The YES programme gives young people the opportunity to get into the workplace and begin to build networks. It also opens up channels into the first economy for other people in their households and communities. It takes one person from the community to open the door for others and change the whole energy of what is possible.”
Mthombeni said: “The pursuit of our improved rating has been a focus of the school for the first half of 2021. I would like to thank the team who worked on this initiative for their tireless efforts.”