RMB Solutionist Thinking
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Solutionist Thinking: In Conversation with Tashmia Ismail-Saville

Solutionist Thinking with RMB is a thirteen-episode podcast series hosted by Bruce Whitfield focusing on the great South African minds who are thinking differently and going against the norm. In the fourth episode, Whitfield interviews the CEO of YES, Tashmia Ismail-Saville.

One million work experiences for unemployed South African youth – that’s the monumental task that President Cyril Ramaphosa has tasked Tashmia Ismail-Saville, Chief Executive of Youth Employment Service (YES) with tackling.

Giving young people pathways and opportunities is more important than your vote.

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of YES

Over the next three years, YES – a joint initiative by government and the private sector seeks to incentivise corporate companies and SMMEs to create work opportunities for 1 million of the 5.7 million South African youth who are currently locked out of the country’s economic growth

There comes a point in an economy where you simply cannot move forward and, have an economically prosperous private sector if you have cut over half the population out of economic participation.

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of YES

With approximately 56% of young people without matric and 78% unable to read with comprehension, the failing education system has largely contributed to the growing rate of unemployable youth living in townships, peri-urban and rural areas.

We have this educational system that doesn’t give people a certificate that is worth much currency or a market signal of a capability of a young person.

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of YES

In her efforts to create pathways with the use of technology, Ismail-Saville and her team are currently investigating psycho-graphic gamification as a means of analysing the capabilities of young people, "in the absence of the accepted market signals."

Interestingly, their findings have proved that the abilities of underprivileged young people matched and, in some cases exceeded those of MBA entrant in Europe.

“It’s not capability, it’s pathway,” says Ismail-Saville in her appeal to get more corporate businesses involved in empowering the youth through training that will ultimately enable them to become more suitable for the job market.

Investment in a community, is what is going to determine the future of the country.

Tashmia Ismail-Saville, CEO of YES

Listen to Tashmia in conversation with Whitfield, as she discusses the YES initiative and, how it will address South Africa's youth unemployment.


This article first appeared on 702 : Solutionist Thinking: In Conversation with Tashmia Ismail-Saville


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