Mastercard partners with YES to train and empower South African youth

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 unemployed youth. In the 2022/23 phase, Mastercard welcomed twelve YES Youth; in 2023/24 Mastercard will increase its commitment by taking on 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.

SANHDR emphasizes that youth employment is crucial in economic terms and for human development.

“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,” says Akinola Akinrin, Director, 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 on the youth employment crisis in South Africa,” says 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 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.


Read next: Applications for the 2024 Injini Mastercard Foundation EdTech Fellowship are open



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