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July 2025

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Yershen Pillay

Yershen Pillay

Chief Executive Officer, Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority (CHIETA)

Yershen Pillay is the chief executive officer (CEO) of the Chemical Industries Education & Training Authority (CHIETA), a statutory body which facilitates skills development in the South African chemical industries sector. Pillay has a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) from the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria. He completed he’s Bachelor of Social Science (BSocSc) in Political Science and Economics. He then went on to complete a Postgraduate Diploma (PG Dip) in Business Administration.

Pillay has held various prominent positions throughout his career, including being the Executive Chairperson for the National Youth Development Agency and being the president of the Pan African Youth Union. He has also served as board member for various organisations including being an Advisory Board Member at the African Energy Leadership Centre which is part of the WITS University Business School. He currently serves as board member for the South African Forestry Company (SAFCOL) and Airports Company South Africa (ACSA).

Mr Pillay has presented various papers at international and local fora including recent papers on the green hydrogen economy, climate change and immigration, and collaboration models for skills development authorities. He is ranked among the Top 100 African Economic Leaders under the age of 40 by the Institute Choiseul in France and received the CEO Innovation Award in 2021 for he’s efforts in driving innovation in skills development and training.

From April to November 2020, Pillay was the Director of Stakeholder Management for the Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET). He has been the CHIETA CEO from October 2020 to date.