This year, Kia South Africa – through its local holding company, Motus – is participating in the Youth Employment Service (YES) programme that calls on business to assist government in creating critical work experience opportunities for young people across the country.
At Kia, most of the YES programme learners have been placed in Sales Co-ordinator roles throughout the Kia retail network and its head office. This will allow the learners to gain valuable experience ranging from customer service, administration, vehicle financing and an overall perspective of what it takes to run such a business.
“Work experience is crucial as there is a huge difference between a textbook and hands-on experience,” says Pamentha Kadathlal, Human Resources Director at Kia South Africa. “We want to give these learners a variety of work experience so they can discover their passion and start building successful careers.”
YES to success
Launched a little over two years ago by President Cyril Ramaphosa, YES has already created 51,600 work experiences for previously unemployed youth who would otherwise have had limited employment opportunities. In this time, these partnerships have injected approximately R3 billion into the economy through salaries that have been transferred into the youth worker wallet.
The introduction of the 355 YES youth will be staggered across different divisions within Motus – of which 63 learners will find their feet at Kia – and provide previously unemployed youth with a one-year fixed term contract, a mobile device for ongoing support and training, as well as access to jobs across the group.
“While more than 8.5 million youth are unemployed, they are not unemployable. A current YES survey that tracks YES alumni has surprised us with exciting results showing that 42% of youth called have been absorbed into employment. This data shows that YES programmes are making youth more employable, despite a lack of formal education,” says Dr Tashmia Ismail, YES chief executive. “What we’re seeing from companies like Motus, which are providing young people with that critical first work opportunity, is that an ability and willingness to train young people on the job, brings energy and innovation into their business. This in turn, triggers an economic ripple effect that helps reignite an economy in which more young people are included. We cannot leave another generation behind.”
In addition, Motus is funding additional opportunities for placement with its Corporate Social Investment programme partners, Unjani Clinics and the Imperial and Motus Community Trust. All roles identified have been specifically created and are not vacancies that would have been filled during our normal employment cycles and, where applicable, will also see South Africa’s largest automotive group provide additional opportunities for youth to obtain driving lessons and driving licences.
Motus firmly believes that the corporate sector has a keen responsibility toward skills development in South Africa. “By partnering with and investing in programmes such as YES, we are not only providing an opportunity for those 355 youths, but we are expanding the talent pool for the entire industry, which means we all benefit in the end,” says Osman Arbee, CEO of Motus.