Over R90 million has been injected into the economy through youth salaries alone – thanks to a partnership between the South African Medical Technology Industry Association (SAMED) and the Youth Employment Service (YES).

The partnership encourages SAMED member organisations to participate in YES and has so far seen 33 members stand up to the task with several others in the pipeline. These SAMED members have placed youth both inside their organisation and externally through the YES turnkey solution.

Tanya Vogt, executive officer at SAMED, explains the rationale behind the partnership, “SAMED is a voluntary trade organisation which acts as the united voice for a complex and diverse sector. We have a core focus on transformation in the medtech sector to create jobs, which is why we have partnered with YES since 2021.”

Young people continue to bear the brunt of South Africa’s unemployment crisis. Two in three young South Africans aged between 15 and 35 are jobless, according to the latest unemployment statistics released by StatsSA.

Research by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) shows the most effective way to enhance employability is to provide young people with quality work experience and skills – exactly what this partnership between YES and SAMED aims to accelerate. StatsSA research has also shown that having prior work experience makes a young person seven times more likely to transition into employment. 46% of YES alumni are currently employed, which is double the national average.

Besides placing youth in their own organisations, SAMED members have become increasingly interested in placing youth in YES’s vetted, healthcare implementation partners.

“One of the major challenges facing South Africa is the lack of access to healthcare, particularly in rural and under-resourced communities,” says YES chief operating officer, Leanne Emery Hunter. “SAMED members want to play their part in protecting the most vulnerable and many have used YES’s turnkey solution to change youth lives and help capacitate this crucial sector in the process.”

“Whether placing youth in their own organisations or in healthcare implementation partners, SAMED members are showing that marginal investments in skills and employment opportunities will lead to exponentially larger changes in the labour market and broader economy of the country. 88% of YES Youth come from grant-recipient households and that first job for youth is the trigger to an economic cascade of events, rippling through families and communities,” Hunter adds.

The impact of the YES and SAMED partnership is best explained by the young people who are in the programme. Boitumelo Ketlhapile, a YES Youth sponsored by SAMED member, Medtronic, worked with the Aurum Institute as a lay counsellor gaining critical interpersonal skills on how to manage HIV and TB patients in a healthcare facility. These skills are invaluable, aiding the lay counsellor in treating all patients with dignity, respect, and kindness.

Boitumelo sees a future in which she can play a part in transforming society to work with people from different backgrounds with utmost respect as this is important working in healthcare.

This partnership demonstrates that industry bodies have the power to effect impactful change that will help South Africa ‘build back better’.


The Youth Employment Service (YES) is a private sector led non-profit organisation, addressing the country’s youth unemployment crisis by empowering businesses to create jobs for our unemployed youth. We’re youth-focused and business-led.

YES works with leading businesses in various sectors to provide 12-month quality work experiences for unemployed young people to become future managers, skilled professionals, and entrepreneurs who will drive the economy forward. In the process, businesses are provided with a route to sustainability and long-term value. Through YES, businesses can improve their B-BBEE scorecard by up to two levels while integrating broad-based job creation into their environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategies to have a meaningful and measurable impact on communities and the environment.

YES has already proven itself to be one of the true innovators in South Africa, generating over R4.8 billion in youth salaries and more than 86,000 jobs in just over three and a hallf years, with no government funding. Find out more at www.yes4youth.co.za and join over 2,200 corporate partners saying YES to co-creating a better future for all South Africans.


The South African Medical Technology Industry Association (SAMED) is a voluntary trade association. SAMED’s 200+ members include multinationals, distributors, wholesalers and local manufacturers of medical devices and in vitro diagnostics (collectively termed medical technologies.  SAMED is committed to providing its members with a collective, objective, and credible platform for engagement with all stakeholders and to enabling a sustainable, ethical and transformed medical technology industry that advances patient care through medical technologies.

SAMED regards transformation as an economic and social imperative. We are committed to transformation and believe we can drive meaningful and sustainable change as an industry body. We strive to create an eco-system that gives our members tools to enable them to transform their companies.