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LinkedIn teams up with Yes and winners of Talent Awards announced

LinkedIn has teamed up with South Africa's Youth Employment Service (Yes) to help tackle the challenge of South Africa's unemployed youth.
All the winners from last night’s Talent Awards held in Sandton. Image supplied.
All the winners from last night’s Talent Awards held in Sandton. Image supplied.

Yes is a business-led collaboration with government and labour to create one million work opportunities for young people.

Identifying skills gaps across the world


The unique partnership will see LinkedIn sharing key insights from its more than 575 million members across 200 countries to identify skills gaps across the world, supporting Yes in custom curriculum and content development for Yes youth, improving Yes branding and reach on LinkedIn and connecting youth with local and global employers via a centralised, custom portal.

The announcement was made at LinkedIn’s first South Africa Talent Awards in Sandton last night, an event held to celebrate the success of local companies in the talent acquisition and employer branding space.


The LinkedIn-Yes partnership will include:

  • LinkedIn profiles: Yes youth will create their own LinkedIn profile, with guidance from LinkedIn around how to use this platform to build a business presence, expand on personal growth mindset and connect to opportunity.
  • Jobs hub: LinkedIn will help set up a centralised hub connecting Yes youth to jobs from participating South African employers.
  • Data and insights: Yes will continually leverage LinkedIn’s data insights to evolve the skills and training opportunities it creates, keeping youth relevant and prepared to meet the needs of a competitive, digitally-focused global market.

Connecting unserved youth to opportunity


David Whelan, head of Africa, LinkedIn Talent Solutions said LinkedIn, in collaboration with Microsoft, had formalised the Yes partnership because the initiative aligned with LinkedIn’s vision of creating economic opportunity for members of the global workforce.

“We are excited about the potential of this partnership to connect unserved youth to opportunity at massive scale leveraging the LinkedIn platform,” said Whelan. Some six million South African professionals have profiles on LinkedIn, with more than 270,000 local companies represented, and 170,000 jobs on offer.

Said Yes CEO Tashmia Ismail-Saville: “Together, LinkedIn and Yes are using new ways to solve inequality and the huge unemployment challenges facing our youth. In partnering with us, LinkedIn has shown the kind of mindset that we need to get this important movement off the ground. As all stakeholders across industries and sectors pull together, we can change the lives of our youth and reshape the future of our economy.”

Youth participating in the Yes programme will be given smartphones, and through the LinkedIn app, will have direct and continued access to connect to opportunity.

Shortage of key digital skills worldwide


“This partnership offers a whole fresh set of linkages for youth who would never have had the opportunity otherwise,” said Ismail-Saville. “Access to a network and particularly a digital network has a significant impact on youth opportunity. It gives exposure, a sensitisation to the real economy, access to mentors, social networks and capital.”

She said technology had evolved more quickly than the global skills base, resulting in a shortage of key digital skills worldwide. The insights leveraged would prepare Africa to become an important global supplier of digital skills.

“Students often aren’t aware of the skills needed by the marketplace when they decide what to study,” said Ismail-Saville. “They let gut feel or anecdotal evidence guide their career choices, and we end up with a glut of unemployed graduates, while the economy struggles along without the skills it needs to ignite faster growth.”

LinkedIn’s Talent Awards


LinkedIn’s Talent Awards highlight the success of employers, individuals and teams headquartered in South Africa using LinkedIn to make a significant impact within their organisations. LinkedIn’s insights team analyses the performance, results and impact organisations have when finding, hiring and retaining top talent.

Winners at last night’s Talent Awards were: Jumo.World (under 500 employees on LinkedIn) and Standard Bank Group (over 500 employees on LinkedIn) for best employer brand on LinkedIn; Coronation Fund Managers (under 500 employees on LinkedIn) and RCL Foods (over 500 employees on LinkedIn) for best talent acquisition team; Ray Govender from Mr Price Group for top social recruiter; KWV for LinkedIn rising star; and Nedbank for best culture of learning.

Said Whelan: “LinkedIn’s South Africa Talent Awards winners reflect a deep commitment to the value of identifying and developing talent in the workplace. Winning organisations demonstrate how recognising the right candidates and aligning emerging talent to business needs can increase the performance and success of organisations worldwide.”

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