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Transforming youth development - how corporate intervention can drive tangible impact on the workforce and formal economy.

By ​Portia Thokoane, HR Director Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region (ESAR)

Youth development is a critical component of sustainable economic growth in South Africa. A youth unemployment rate of 63,9% is a terrifying prospect for the present and future of the country, and every single actor has a duty to show up to make a difference. For the private sector, one of these interventions is actively supporting young people's transition into the workforce so that they can succeed in the formal economy. Meaningful corporate engagement should go beyond simply funding programs or donating money. It requires a practical and tangible commitment to empowering young people and equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed.

This year, Nestlé ESAR is at Empowayouth Week Summit in Orange Farm south of Johannesburg, hosted by EmpowaWorx, leading with a dialogue echoing youth challenge, unpacking the complexities and sharing tangible impact to drive youth development. The engagement will conclude with a showcase of meaningful solutions to help solve youth challenges. Here are some practical, support-focused youth interventions that futureproof the potential of the next generation to make meaningful contributions to the economy.

Practical and Relevant Skills Development Programmes

Practical support-focused youth interventions include skills development programs tailored to specific industries or professions, partnerships between the private sector and government, and support for agripreneurship and entrepreneurship. Skills development programs like Nestlé Nesternship and graduate programs allow young people to get exposure to the workplace while acquiring the necessary knowledge and skills they need to succeed in the workplace. Partnerships between the private sector and government can create social impact and build sustainable communities. Corporate social responsibility initiatives can drive meaningful intervention in youth development.

Shared Goals, Shared Success: Government and Private Sector Collaboration

Partnerships between the private sector and government can create social impact and sustainable communities. Corporate social responsibility initiatives can drive meaningful intervention in youth development, including supporting government initiatives, funding education and skills development programs, and engaging in volunteer work. Nestlé ESAR has been working with Youth Employment Service (YES), a government-led initiative for the past four years, providing 400 youth with valuable skills in the agricultural sector. By supporting such programs, corporate companies demonstrate a commitment to youth development and South Africa's future prosperity.

Supporting and Developing Avenues of Opportunity in the Formal Economy

Agripreneurship and entrepreneurship present promising avenues of opportunity for youth. Agripreneurship in the agricultural sector can create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and contribute to food security. Entrepreneurship offers many opportunities for young people to start and grow their businesses. South Africa's young people are highly motivated and innovative; many have the skills and knowledge necessary to launch successful businesses. Access to capital, market information, and mentorship are critical factors for the success of youth entrepreneurs, and there is a need for continued support and investment in this area.

Meaningful corporate intervention in youth development requires a long-term commitment and a focus on sustainable solutions. The programs and initiatives must be designed to create lasting change rather than short-term fixes. This requires a focus on impact measurement and evaluation, to continually improve and refine interventions based on the outcomes achieved.

Investing in the future workforce through development and support-focused youth interventions can protect the next generation’s potential to make meaningful contributions to the economy. Corporate businesses can play a significant role in supporting young people, equipping and empowering them with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed. By doing so, we can create a brighter future for young people in South Africa, unlocking their potential and driving economic growth for years to come.

For more information visit www.Nestlé Follow @Nestléesar on Facebook and Twitter



Nestlé East and Southern African Region (ESAR)
Rosalie Ambrose
Tel: 079 526 8518
Email: [email protected]é.com

Issued by Weber Shandwick on behalf of Nestlé East and Southern Africa Region
Tankiso Motsoeneng
Tel: +27 61 374 7539
Email: [email protected]

About Nestlé
Nestlé is the world’s largest food and beverage company. It is present in 187 countries around the world, and its 291,000 employees are committed to Nestlé’s purpose of unlocking the power of food to enhance quality for everyone, today and for generations to come. Nestlé offers a wide portfolio of products and services for people and their pets throughout their lives. Its more than 2,000 brands range from global icons like Nescafé or Nespresso to local favourites like Ricoffy. Company performance is driven by its Nutrition, Health, and Wellness strategy. Nestlé is based in the Swiss town of Vevey where it was founded more than 150 years ago.