YES's primary mission is to address the country's youth unemployment crisis by empowering businesses across sectors to create jobs for our unemployed youth.

In the 2022 / 2023 phase, Mastercard welcomed 12 YES Youth, and in 2023 / 2024 Mastercard will increase its commitment by taking in 14 YES Youth.

This expansion in intake numbers is pivotal in providing even more young individuals with crucial work experience, exposure and a unique opportunity to gain experience in the global payments industry, says Mastercard. 
"Mastercard is deeply committed to forging opportunities for African youth through various channels and partnerships," says Akinola Akinrin, director of people business partner at Mastercard SSA.

"We are addressing the significant challenge of youth unemployment, especially in South Africa, by providing opportunities for cognate work experience and developing relevant in-demand skills. We plan to scale these initiatives and make them sustainable in the coming years," Akinrin says. 

"The commitment is exemplified through our recent announcement of a significant in-market investment in South African infrastructure that aligns with the government's vision 2025 strategy, along with the establishment of two new data centres," Akinrin adds. 

"These developments further highlight our focus on addressing regional challenges, and our dedication to making a meaningful impact on the African continent — both locally and globally. Our partnership with YES is in line with building collaborative and productive partnerships across the public and private sectors, with an emphasis on government priorities," says Akinrin.
Ravi Naidoo, CEO of YES, says, "Continuing our partnership with Mastercard is a testament to our ongoing commitment to provide youth the opportunity to gain valuable skills and experience in the global payments industry and to make an impact on the youth employment crisis in South Africa."
It is estimated that by 2030, the number of young people in the African labour force will increase to 375 million. This means that by 2035, there will be more young people entering the workforce each year than in the rest of the world combined, according to Mastercard. 

The company concludes that one of the long-term objectives of Mastercard's partnership with YES is to provide young people with twelve months of meaningful, quality workplace experience and sustainable jobs. The goal is to equip the youth with skills that will grant them access to the economy, also providing them with an opportunity to make a significant contribution towards the development of society. 

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