Yonela Gozini (19) is one of 450 learners that Woolworths has employed, on a one-year contract, as part of the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme and the appointment is already changing her life.
YES was launched by President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2018 as a government-led partnership with business, labour and civil society to tackle the national plan to build economic pathways for black youth.
The programme aims to empower one million young South Africans by offering paid, quality work experience.
Gozini started working at Woolworths at the end of April, as a visual merchandiser in the Marketing Business Unit, and is able to help her family as a result.
“I am getting work experience and benefitting from new experiences. I am now able to help my family because I am the only one working. With this opportunity, I hope I can work at Woolworths for a long time,” said Gozini.
“We are proud to work alongside government and with other South African businesses on this initiative to address the issue of youth unemployment, which has become a massive challenge in South Africa. We are pleased to have co-created a programme across our business units which will equip youth with key skills and prepare them with a work-readiness toolkit, as well as a network, to build the foundations of their working career,” said Woolworths SA CEO, Zyda Rylands.
Woolworths has always believed that skills development is a key enabler to empowerment and transformation, not only for the company, but also for the retail sector and the country. It has been actively involved in making a difference in South Africa, through education.
“We are privileged and humbled to be part of YES, which provides us with an opportunity to reach more young people and address some of the systemic challenges facing our country. By being actively involved in youth development, we create career progression within our own business, improve the diversity of our workforce and our potential talent pool, and contribute to the development of employable skills in the country. This is part of our role as a responsible corporate citizen in South Africa,” said Rylands.
Gozini urges the youth to never give up. “You must apply for jobs every day, because there are opportunities out there. Keep trying and keep applying,” she said.
How to register to be part of the YES programme?
Log onto our website: www.yes4youth.co.za/youth-registration and register as a YES youth.