YES Programme Application | YES Initiative for BEE | Serr Synergy
Serr Synergy YES Youth Initiative

(Youth Employment Service)

South Africa is no exception to the global unemployment phenomenon and has a national unemployment rate of 27,2%. We have seen our youth (*classified as between the ages 15 and 34) being largely affected by the economic slowdown and low levels of employment in the labour market.

SA’s youth are the most vulnerable in an economy where skills are required, with their future relying heavily on job readiness and ability to enter the job market. Much of the debate in South Africa today focuses on ways to facilitate job creation, to narrow income differentials and to redress inequalities in accessing wealth.

Introduction to the Youth Employment Service (YES) initiative

On 28 August 2018, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) gazetted the Youth Employment Service (YES) inclusion in the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment (B-BBEE) Codes of Good Practice. With the implementation of the YES initiative, broad-based transformation has entered a new phase of diversity, requirements, dimensions and facets. It is no longer limited to traditional considerations such as ownership and management but includes a strong emphasis on job creation.

  • The YES programme encourages corporates to contribute to empowerment in areas of national priority – addressing youth unemployment and upskilling the youth through job placement. Businesses are rewarded for YES participation with enhanced B-BBEE status levels.
  • The YES programme focuses on the employability of the youth for economic prosperity.

Three major factors come into play for SA business owners – the employment of youth, B-BBEE requirements and training and development.

Objectives of YES

The YES initiative signifies huge progress towards facilitating SA’s youth to gain work experience through employment placement.

  • YES makes provision for black unemployed youth to be employed and trained by means of learning and development programmes in the form of non-accredited and accredited training courses;
  • YES undertakes to create between 300 000 and half a million jobs and job opportunities over the next 3 years for young black South Africans from urban, peri-urban and rural areas;
  • YES promotes a culture of continuous innovation and believes in the power of disruption to change the status quo.

Businesses are in general uncertain about integrating the YES programme into an existing training and transformation strategy and maximising B-BBEE scorecard points for priority elements by incorporating YES.

SERR Synergy recognises the impact that the YES implementation has on business owners and their business operations. With this in mind, we have designed a unique SERR YES (Youth Employment Service) programme with tailor-made solutions to suit different business needs so as to address the full spectrum of B-BBEE and YES compliance requirements.

The unique SERR YES programme 

A first of its kind in South Africa, the SERR YES programme adopts a holistic approach by offering clients–

  • assistance with registration on YES Programme digital platform;
  • tailor-made training programmes to facilitate work readiness;
  • training programmes to address the areas of Employability Skills and Workplace Synergy amongst others;
  • certification of training outcomes;
  • contracts of employment and other legal compliance documents to facilitate youth employment;

SERR YES training programmes

The aim of our SERR YES training programmes is to provide the youth with the necessary employability skills to ensure that they can become employable citizens in the current SA economy. Through our SERR YES training programmes we develop and empower the youth to apply skills through meaningful employment.

Please contact us for more information on our SERR YES programmes.

Qualifying criteria for YES registration

In order for businesses to qualify for YES, there are certain requirements for each of the business categories which they need to meet.

  • YES hughly benefit scorecard entities from B-BBEE Scorecard point of view.
  • Black youth aged 18-35 to be employed.
  • At least 40% of the points required for each priority element of the B-BBEE Scorecard, or 50% average (generic entities) across all priority elements and 40% average QSEs (*priority elements are Ownership, Skills Development and Enterprise and Supplier Development).
  • Generics – 50% average: 34 points out of 68 points.
  • QSEs – 40% any two:
    • Ownership and Skills: 13,2 out of 33 points;
    • Ownership and Enterprise, Supplier Development: 15,2 out of 38 points.
  • Entity must maintain or improve its B-BBEE status level with introduction of YES.
  • 12 months fixed-term or temporary employment contract.
  • Targets to be employed and percentages to be absorbed as per the prescribed formula (*please refer to the tables).
  • New YES positions must be created in addition to existing employment positions.
  • Entities may not replace existing positions with these new positions.

The YES targets

The targets for Generic Enterprises – (*entities with annual turnover above R50 million which may differ for certain industries) are determined as the greater of:

  • 1,5% of headcount (total number of employees) in the preceding year;


  • 1,5% of the YES Measured Entity’s average Net Profit After Tax (NPAT) from SA operations in the immediately preceding three years, converted to headcount number by dividing that NPAT number by R55 000;


  •  A target as determined as per turnover band in the table.

The targets for Qualifying Small Enterprises / QSEs (*entities with annual turnover below R50 million) and Exempted Micro Enterprises / EMEs (*entities with annual turnover below R10 million)

  • are determined by the total number of employees employed by the enterprise as per the headcount band in the table.

B-BBEE value

Participating in the SERR YES Programme is extremely attractive for enterprises to meet their YES targets. Should entities meet all the qualifying criteria and pre-conditions, which include conducting YES-specific learning programmes, YES can assist entities to enhance their overall B-BBEE status with up to 2 levels.

Skills development

Companies will be able to claim up to 50% as informal Skills Development expenditure (informal, industry-led, non-accredited training) for YES training expenses on the Skills Development element of the B-BBEE Scorecard.

YES really needs you and me! YES is a viable model for inclusive economic transformation as it will increase employability and ultimately lead to positive social changes in South Africa and building a future that works for all.

*The SERR YES programme forms part of our range of business legal compliance solutions. Please contact us for more information on our SERR YES programmes.