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Youth4Tourism: Turbo-charging South African tourism through youth jobs

Sanlam and the Youth Employment Service (YES) have launched the Youth4Tourism initiative to bolster the crucial tourism sector. The initiative, co-founded by Sanlam, is bringing together businesses across sectors to unlock the potential of the youth and invigorate one of the nation’s most significant economic contributors.

Leading corporate partners like Mercedes Benz SA, Hollard, Pizza Hut, Fairtree and more have partnered with YES and Sanlam to sponsor future-facing jobs for youth that will turbo-charge the tourism sector.

The industry is larger than both the manufacturing and agriculture sectors contributing 3.7% of South Africa’s GDP, and is structurally key to growing the domestic economy through leisure and business travel.  Africa’s travel and tourism sector is expected to create almost 14 million new jobs over the next decade, with 6.8% annual growth expected between 2022-2032, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council.

Youth4Tourism places a strong emphasis on equipping young individuals with on-the-job skills, enabling them to thrive within the sector. This initiative aims to involve South African youth in a range of tourism and tourism-adjacent roles, from chefs and tour guides to content creators and concierges. Not only does this initiative promote youth employment but it injects fresh perspectives into the sector.

Paul Hanratty, CEO of Sanlam, says, “Currently, we have 4.9 million unemployed young people in South Africa. This is a crisis as our demographic dividend should be our greatest shared asset. Youth4Tourism’s purpose is to help foster employability by growing our youth into micro-entrepreneurs with sought-after, future-fit skill sets.”

The initiative calls on businesses from all sectors to join the movement and sponsor work experiences for youth, boosting SA tourism for the better.

Tourism is a key driver of economic growth, cultural exchange, and global understanding in contemporary society. Beyond its economic impact, it stimulates local economies through job creation, business support, and infrastructure development. Additionally, tourism acts as a catalyst for cultural exchange, offering opportunities to engage with a diverse range of people.

“Tourism is vital to South Africa’s economy and should be our top foreign revenue generator for the country,” said YES CEO Ravi Naidoo.

“Tourism’s also a great sector for the employment of young people. It is a key piece in solving the youth unemployment puzzle and is a fantastic opportunity for corporates and industry players to come on board.”

The journey starts with YOU(th)

Take up the challenge and join Youth4Tourism today.

Corporates can get involved by funding youth jobs and training through the Youth4Tourism programme.

To be part of this game-changing initiative and make a lasting impact, visit the Youth4Tourism website at www.youth4tourism.co.za or contact the team at youth4tourism@yes4youth.co.za or on 087 330 0084.

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