Bridging the youth unemployment gap in South Africa

April 1, 2024 | South Africa
Africa is a young continent with a median age of 19 years. It is estimated that by 2030, the number of young people in the African labor 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.

At Mastercard, we are committed to achieving a meaningful impact in Africa, as evidenced by our recent

part of our efforts to empower young people to reach their full potential, we are keen to help bridge South Africa’s youth unemployment gap. That’s why we have partnered with the Youth Employment Service (YES), the highest-impact private-sector-led youth employment program in the country, whose primary mission is to motivate businesses across diverse industries to create jobs for unemployed youth.

In the 2022/23 phase of the program, we welcomed 12 YES Youth to Mastercard, and for the 2023/24 cohort, we increased the number to 14. This way, we are offering South Africa’s young generation a unique opportunity to gain crucial exposure to the payments industry. In the coming years, our aim is to scale the initiative and work with YES to provide the country’s young people with 12 months of meaningful, quality workplace experience that will set them on a pathway to a long-term career.

Together, we are contributing to alleviating youth unemployment challenges and building a workforce of the future by equipping young people with valuable skills that will enable them to actively participate in the continent’s sustainable development.