Media statement: 2201 youth graduate after year of service at YearBeyond
On 30 November 2022, 2201 youth between the ages of 18 and 25, known as “YeBoneers”, completed their year of service with the YearBeyond programme.
The YearBeyond programme is facilitated by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport’s Youth and After School office, which offers unemployed youth an opportunity to gain a year’s work experience after matriculating, while also giving back to their communities. More than 5000 youth have graduated from this programme since its inception.
A total of 2984 youth enrolled in the programme this year. 2 201 completed the year, while the remaining 783 exited the programme for better opportunities or personal reasons. Today, 1 456 of these will be participating in the finale of the Social Innovation Programme. These participants have all participated in the full-time programme and have completed their service. They will be graduating with certificates from YearBeyond and National Youth Service, a bespoke reference letter and a competency report.
Jacqueline Boulle, the Programme head of the Youth and After School office said: “The graduation is a celebration of the YeBoneers’ grit, resilience and determination over the year. It is also a celebration of their commitment to making a difference in their community. While on the programme, youth have developed work readiness skills, emotional intelligence and agency. They have also been supported to think about ‘what next’. Some have secured their next opportunity. Others are still looking. Regardless they have all been upskilled and empowered and they are aware that they have a responsibility to continue with their personal development, while also positively assisting and influencing others in their communities.”
This year’s graduation also ended off with the crowning of the top 3 teams in the programme’s Social Innovation Leadership Programme. The curriculum is designed to build YeBoneer competencies in innovation, teamwork and effective communication. For 2022, the YeBoneers worked in teams to come up with innovative solutions and ideas to the challenge they were presented with. The challenge asked them to think about how we can increase caregiver participation in children’s holistic development.
Head of Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Guy Redman, said: “I had the honour and privilege of meeting many of the youth at the YearBeyond conference in July and I was inspired by their energy, passion and leadership. Today I wish them all well as they begin their next journey. Keep being the best version of yourselves.”
Minister Anroux Marais emphasized the importance of equipping youth to become economically active members of our society: “We are committed to providing our youth with opportunities to get work experience and develop their own skills in order to be equipped to take the next step towards finding permanent employment. With a year of practical work experience on their CV, they can now apply for better opportunities.”
The next intake of Yeboneers will commence early in 2023.
Acting Spokesperson to Minister Anroux Marais
Tel: 076 093 4913