September 23, 2014

Europe sees business-led initiatives to boost youth employment

European businesses are launching large-scale campaigns to tackle youth unemployment.

Switzerland-based Nestlé is one company spearheading the initiatives. Last week saw their Alliance for YOUth movement unite around 200 major companies across Europe, each pledging to help young people become better prepared to enter the job market.

The alliance is the first pan-European business-driven movement aimed at improving youth employment prospects, partnering commercial giants such as Axa, Ernst & Young, Facebook, Google, Nielsen, and White & Case.

Companies in the alliance have agreed to develop meaningful training opportunities through work experience and internship programs, whilst also offering practical career advice, CV clinics, and interview preparation to young people.

CEO of Nestlé Europe Laurent Freixe said of the scheme: “We are confident that more than 100,000 opportunities will be given in the coming years, but it should go beyond that.”

Meanwhile, supermarkets in the United Kingdom are already undertaking employment boosting measures as part of IDG's Feeding Britain’s Future initiative.

The nation’s biggest food and grocery chains, including Morrisons and Sainsbury’s, attended a roundtable with Prime Minister David Cameron as part of the scheme this month, to discuss what the sector is doing to address employability skills of young unemployed people in the UK.

Since its launch in 2012, the initiative has already improved prospects for over 40,000 young people through pre-employment training and skills classes.

The benefits of investing in occupational skills have been proven in numerous cases. Robert Lerman discusses how apprenticeships can streamline firm productivity and enhance innovation, whilst opening up job opportunities to young people.

David Lam writes more generally about the issue of youth unemployment, stating that flexible labor markets and a strong emphasis on education policies are most likely to improve opportunities for youth.

Read more here.

Related articles:
Do firms benefit from apprenticeship investments, by Robert Lerman
Youth bulges and youth unemployment, by David Lam