Accenture (NYSE:ACN) is proud to announce a partnership with Global Opportunity Youth Network (GOYN) that aims to give youth increased access to the economy and address youth unemployement at scale. The formation of the initiative is welcomed in the light of the latest Statistics South Africa Quarterly Labour Force Survey that puts our youth unemployment rate at a staggering 46,3%—one of the highest in the world.
“South Africa has 7.2 million unemployed people, the majority of whom are Opportunity Youth (OY) aged between 15 to 34 years, who are out of school, unemployed, underemployed and/or working in informal jobs,” states Khethiwe Nkuna, Corporate Citizenship and Inclusion & Diversity Lead at Accenture Africa. “With one of the highest levels of unemployment around the world, GOYN is so relevant to our context, and as Accenture, we got involved because we see a huge need to not only solve global unemployment, but also address the real challenges that South African youth face,” she adds.
GOYN is piloting in the eThekwini municipal region in KwaZulu Natal (KZN) - working with young people to radically reorganise information around them and enable them to grow their skills and profiles to access even more opportunities tomorrow than they can today.
“Accenture’s Market Intelligence Report revealed that at the grassroots level, there has been significant activity and investment particularly in Gauteng and Western Cape, but not much in KZN which hosts over 50% of unemployed youth. Therefore we have piloted in KZN with a focus on eThekwini,” Nkuna says.
With GOYN, youth voices are at the centre of the solution. According to Accenture many organisations merely offer training or job opportunities without looking holistically at the individual and addressing challenges related to their local context. To combat this, and ensure that solutions are tailored to address challenges encountered by youth in their communities GOYN hosts a Youth Advisory Group (YAG) - a platform for youth ambassadors from different organisations and communities to align and agree on the key challenges and potential solutions that would assist youth in their communities. Outcomes from these discussions are then shared with the wider stakeholder groups to ensure that the youth voice is considered in the creation of initiatives and solutions.
Founded by the Aspen Institute’s Forum for Community Solutions and co-led by design partners Youth Build International, Accenture, Catholic Relief Services, Global Development Incubator and Prudential, the GOYN approach to addressing youth unemployment is currently being implemented in communities in Brazil, India, Kenya, Colombia, and South Africa, and chapters recently been started in Mexico and Senegal.
The GOYN project in South Africa started in November 2019 as a 10 year initiative that is run by co-anchors, Harambee Youth Employment Accelerator and the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), in conjunction with, Accenture and Youth Build International. It is a global project with support from both local and global funders.
Accenture says the aim is to scale the initiative beyond eThekwini, to a national level. To that end, GOYN has partnered with Harambee and NYDA as part of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention to be part of a national multi-stakeholder network called SA Youth.
SA Youth is a free national network of networks which aims to ensure that all learning, earning and support opportunities are visible to all young people in South Africa. Young people can join the network free through a zero-rated mobi-site – sayouth.mobi and employers and partners looking for engaged, entry level talent can register and load opportunities on the SA Youth Partner Network at partners.sayouth.org.za.
Accenture global has funded a two year digital opportunity pilot worth USD $1.7 million aimed at connecting youth to career opportunities in the digital economy across several countries; in South Africa, building on the infrastructure of SAyouth.mobi, this funding aims to impact at least 34,000 youth in eThekwini in the first year – allowing young people to access relevant local content with links to funding, bursaries, job opportunities and training.
“South Africa faces fragmentation and duplication of services due to lack of or weak partnerships. Rather than just being funders, we are involved to ensure collective impact, and plug the gaps that are currently in the market and enabling a growing economy and a society that works, powered by the potential of young people,” Nkuna states.