NEDBANK embarked on a media tour of Durban, Howick and Pietermaritzburg on Friday to see first-hand the good work that some of the 3 315 previously unemployed youth, which Nedbank has directly or indirectly employed, were doing as part of Nedbank’s 12-month Youth Unemployment Service (Yes) which began on May 2. Yes was officially launched in March 2018 by President Cyril Ramaphosa as a joint initiative between government, business, labour and civil society. It was set up to be part of a collective effort to address the youth unemployment crisis facing our country. To date, about 18 000 recruits have been placed at different companies through the Yes initiatives, with 3 315 starting at Nedbank and its implementation partners this week.Members of the media were treated to a tour of the Wildlands Conservation Trust recycling depot in Midmar and the Nelson Mandela Capture Site in Howick where they were shown and given demonstrations of the work that these previously unemployed youth were doing thanks to Nedbank and the organisations they partnered with to drive this initiative. Nedbank group chief executive officer Mike Brown said that the purpose of the initiative is to build the youth up while addressing problems such as unemployment in our country. Brown says that tackling unemployment among the youth group of our country is not just about providing jobs but also about helping the communities of South Africa in the process. “We as a bank in our communities embrace our role in society as a change agent, as a contributor to nation building and an enabler of higher levels of inclusive, transformative economic growth,” said Brown. Dr Andrew Venter, the CEO of Wildtrust, a partner with Nedbank for the Yes initiative, said they were grateful for the funding which Nedbank has granted them thus allowing them to hire more workers and provide jobs to unemployed youth who have been exceptional since starting with them. One of the recipients of jobs at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site, Nolwazi Khumalo, said because of the Yes programme and Nedbank she has been able to earn a salary which she uses towards her everyday life as well as saving up so that she can study further. “It has been a great experience for me. I can now afford to buy things for me and my family because of the salary I am receiving. I have also started saving up so that I can study soon,” said Khumalo. In closing, Brown said that he wants to encourage other businesses to take part in the Yes initiative and said he hopes that more businesses come on board.