In the Middle East, youth unemployment continues to rise and is estimated at nearly 29 percent this International Youth Day, higher than any other in the world. Nestlé Needs Youth initiatives have impacted more than 20,000 young people across the region since 2016, “as we pursue ongoing efforts to tackle youth unemployment in the region,” said Karine Antoniades, Nestlé Middle East public affairs and creating shared value manager.
“We continue to meet our commitment to foster career opportunities for youth in the Middle East, with 70 percent of Nestlé’s new hires consisting of youth, and through various initiatives that strive to enhance youth skills, encourage employability, and promote career progression.”
These include activities to “Get Hired, Get Support, Get Skilled, and Get More Opportunities,” broadly delivered as follows:
• Hiring: Nestlé Middle East has hired more than 2,500 young people under the age of 30 since 2010, totaling 70 percent of the company’s new hires during the period.
• Readiness for work events: Implemented by working with universities across the region to offer expert advice to students in the areas of career advising, employability, business and corporate environment, and leadership. These impacted 20,000 people since 2016 through 240 events held in 10 countries across the region. These include workshops, CV clinics, and mock interviews.
• Internships: 260 internships and traineeships since 2014.
• The Nestlé Center of Excellence: A Nestlé training academy founded in 2012 which trains university graduates in Saudi Arabia and Oman. It has so far trained 170 people and hired 42.
• The region’s Alliance for Youth brings together companies that share the objective of tackling the Middle East’s unemployment rate. It now includes 14 partners and is also well on its way to collectively hiring 3,000 young people and impacting 50,000 by 2020. Multi-sectoral partnerships are also being developed in various countries with governments, NGOs, universities, and companies to encourage youth training and employment.
Launched by the United Nations in 1999, International Youth Day is observed annually on Aug. 12. It is meant as an opportunity for governments and others to draw attention to youth issues worldwide, involving concerts, workshops, cultural events, and meetings.
Through Nestlé Needs Youth, the company has helped prepare hundreds of thousands of young people for work, trained and supported over 4 million farmers, and helped 2 million women develop business skills.
The global youth initiative aims to help 10 million young people worldwide access economic opportunities by 2030.