Helping to bridge the nation’s youth unemployment challenge

Adcock Ingram and the Youth Employment Service (YES) established a partnership when both organisations joined forces to support President Ramaphosa’s vision of creating one million jobs for unemployed youth within three years. Adcock Ingram initially kicked off the first phase of their initiative during November 2018, welcoming the first 27 graduates. 

Yes-graduatesAt the end of March 2019, the total intake was 132 graduates. It was fitting at this point to give the YES graduates a platform to be recognised for their commitment and to be able to share some of their experiences thus far. The celebration ceremony was held at Adcock Ingram’s head office in April 2019. In attendance on the day were all the YES graduates, representatives from YES, Dr Thato Matshaba, Director for HIV Prevention Programmes of the National Department of Health, representatives from The Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority (CHIETA), YES graduate mentors and the Executive Committee of Adcock Ingram.

‘We are truly honoured to have partnered with YES to address the critical challenge of rising youth unemployment levels facing our country.  Many of us overlook the fact that the youth of today are tomorrow’s leaders, and listening to our graduates, a common theme is that they not only believe that they are gaining valuable skills and knowledge, but that they really have embraced the culture of the organisation.  We believe that this initiative is built on a sustainable model and I would encourage other companies in South Africa to become part of this legacy’ says Basadi Letsoalo, Adcock Ingram executive director: Human Capital & Transformation.


YES was launched in 2018, after initially being conceptualised as part of the CEO Initiative, as a partnership between business, government and labour, focussing on tackling the challenges of youth employability.  YES has to date, created over 16 000 work experiences since inception.  What sets this initiative apart is that it is recognised by local and international researchers, academics and business professionals as one of the most innovative programmes of its kind in the world.

‘Adcock Ingram was one of the first companies to partner with YES and lead in this movement towards business investing in youth jobs and making a real difference in the lives of young people. We are grateful for their trust and pioneering attitude.’ says Dr Tashmia Ismail-Saville, YES chief executive.


With sustainability being a core feature of YES, youth are equipped with smartphone devices which provides them with subsidised data and access to critical skills content including work readiness, health and safety, and financial wellness related material.  Through the YES partnership with LinkedIn, YES youth are trained on how to build a professional profile on the world’s largest professional networking site.  Host companies are then able to track the performance of their youth through the YES supervisor app which provides real-time data gathering as well as insights on the success of the work placements.  To find out more about YES, please visit its website, or follow the programme developments on LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook.

‘For us, it is critical that we provide a quality work experience for our youth and we work closely with our partners as we walk this journey’ concludes Ismail-Saville.