Mastercard partners with YES to train and empower South African youth

January 29, 2024 | Johannesburg, South Africa

Mastercard has partnered with the Youth Employment Service (YES) to help bridge the youth unemployment gap in South Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa, 29 January 2024 – Mastercard, a global technology leader in the payments industry, is deepening its commitment to addressing youth unemployment in South Africa. Today, the company announced that it will continue its partnership with YES, the highest-impact private-sector-led youth employment programme in the country. 

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 2022/23 phase, Mastercard welcomed twelve YES Youth, in 2023/24 Mastercard will increase its commitment by taking in fourteen 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.

“Mastercard is deeply committed to forging opportunities for African youth through various channels and partnerships. 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,” said Akinola Akinrin, eirector, People Business Partner, Mastercard SSA.

“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. 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.

“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 to the youth employment crisis in South Africa,” said Ravi Naidoo, CEO of YES.

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. 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. 

About Mastercard (NYSE: MA)

Mastercard is a global technology company in the payments industry. Our mission is to connect and power an inclusive, digital economy that benefits everyone, everywhere by making transactions safe, simple, smart and accessible. Using secure data and networks, partnerships and passion, our innovations and solutions help individuals, financial institutions, governments and businesses realize their greatest potential. Our decency quotient, or DQ, drives our culture and everything we do inside and outside of our company. With connections across more than 210 countries and territories, we are building a sustainable world that unlocks priceless possibilities for all.

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