In many cases around the world, traditional education, if available, no longer prepares young people for the current and future world of work. As a result, millions of young people globally are either unemployed or under-employed. The reality is that today’s youths need the right skills and experience to help them prepare for their futures in a rapidly changing economic landscape.
Against this backdrop, Nielsen has joined forces with an array of other organizations to support the Regional Alliance for Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa, a Nestlé initiative that focuses on creating and implementing employability programmes, mentorships and training initiatives designed to equip young people under 30 with essential workplace skills. At the Regional Alliance for Youth launch event in Johannesburg, Bryan Sun, Managing Director, Nielsen Africa, spoke on a CEO panel about the issue of youth unemployment, and he along with other supporters of the program, ABB, Adcorp and Publicis signed this pledge: “As alliance partners, we pledge to provide the youth in Sub-Saharan Africa with opportunities that will equip them for the world of work.”
“Creating and supporting strong career paths for youth is essential to the success of any society,” Bryan said. “Across the world, Nielsen has committed to having an uncommon social, economic and environmental impact in local communities; and we are proud to continue that commitment through our involvement with Alliance For Youth program in Sub-Saharan Africa.”
The Regional Alliance for Youth in Sub-Saharan Africa is an expansion of the Alliance for Youth, which Nestlé founded in Europe in 2014. The Alliance was launched in Pacific Alliance countries in 2017 (Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru) and the Mercosur countries in December 2018 (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay and Uruguay). For several years, Nielsen has contributed to the Alliance For Youth in many ways, from creating employment toolkits to offering internships and apprenticeships. Most importantly, we have lent the power of our data science, conducting key research to help increase the Alliance’s understanding of the youth unemployment issue and advance its cause.
Earlier this year, we conducted a survey of more than 2,500 young people between 18-30 years old in 27 countries to better understand the challenges for young people joining the workforce.
We found that youth from different parts of the world perceive different skill sets to be most important when it comes to finding career success. For example, young people in the U.S. view communication and teamwork as critical competencies, while young people in the Middle East and Africa see technical skills related to science and technology as crucial.
What was consistent across the board, however, was the finding that young people today are not that different from previous generations. They want stability, the dignity of a job, a happy family, and they want to save a little money.
Also affirming was the discovery that young people strongly believe that companies can contribute to building a better future for them. Today’s youth are optimistic about the role of business in our society, and they’re looking to companies to lead the way in solving major world problems.