Invest in entry-level training
Skilling isn’t just for school. Your organization can invest in upskilling youth through mentorship, training and more – and even commit to making entry-level jobs easier for youth to secure.
Young people need a full range of skills for the future of work and life. Yet around 3 in 4 youth today lack the skills needed for employment.
Access to a full range of skills is life-changing for youth and their communities. Five types of skills are central to young people’s futures: foundational, digital, entrepreneurial, transferable and job-specific.
Your organization can champion and support the development of these skills so that young people can engage fully with opportunities to learn, earn and thrive.
Steps you can take
Your organization and its people represent an invaluable resource for the skilling of today’s youth. And you can give young people a helping hand when they start to actively seek employment.
Dedicate employee hours to mentoring youth
Young people can benefit hugely from your employees’ experience. It can be inspiring and incredibly helpful for youth to hear insights from a mentor who has achieved success in their chosen career.
Enabling your people to act as mentors can also be a good way for your organization to improve employee engagement.
You can invite career-minded employees to get involved in mentoring youth, whether in person or online. Mentors should be good listeners as well as effective communicators.
Your organization’s input can help to boost interest in sectors with skills gaps. And knowing what careers are likely to be available to youth in future can help them tailor their skilling journey to match.
Being a mentor involves giving out practical tips as well as career guidance. Direct your employees to skilling resources that can help the young people they support progress towards their career goals.
Provide free access to job-specific skills content
Your in-house training materials – or a simplified version of them – could help to give young people the skills they need to pursue specific roles.
Making your job-specific skills content available online is a great way to support all youth, but especially young people not in formal education.
It’s also a chance to connect a potential pipeline of newly skilled youth to job opportunities in your organization. You can shape their skill development to match your future workforce needs.
Passport to Earning is an e-learning solution for young people in India who are looking to gain relevant twenty-first century skills.
To support skill development among African youth, you can register your organization with Yoma.
Or find out about partnering with the RLabs Making Hope Contagious initiative, which aims to boost young people’s skills, training, and economic empowerment.
Run job-specific training programmes
Your organization can also share its expertise with young people by running job-specific training programmes.
One such initiative is the Girls’ Education Skills Partnership – comprising the UK Government and global businesses – which will train 1 million girls and women aged 13–24 years. Its focus is skills to promote young women’s success in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
Public and private organizations can get behind initiatives to offer internships or apprenticeships in house. You could also provide job shadowing experiences and scholarships.
Investing now in young people’s skilling journeys will deliver you a trained and productive workforce in years to come.
Help young people start an enterprise
By giving young people the chance to engage in entrepreneurship, your organization can lead the way in investing in entrepreneurial skills.
By 2027, 60 per cent of the global workforce will be self-employed. So it’s vital to give youth the skills to navigate their own livelihood pathways.
Your organization can work at scale by supporting GenU’s imaGen Ventures Youth Challenge. Your investment will contribute seed funding and incubation and mentoring support for the winners.
Since its launch in 2018, imaGen Ventures has given more than 15 million young people in over
60 countries access to entrepreneurial skill-building opportunities. It’s also supported more than
51,000 young people to turn entrepreneurial ideas into social impact.
Another example of supporting entrepreneurial skilling is the public-private initiative Mamelodi Business Hub. This gives young people in South Africa a space to hone their entrepreneurial skills.
Lower the barriers to entry
To help young people who are actively looking for employment, your organization can lower the requirements for securing entry-level positions.
Equality of opportunity for young people is still very far off. Until we achieve that, it can help to be flexible about the need for formal qualifications for some roles.
Instead, look for ‘micro-credentials’ (for completion of short courses and training) and non-standard certificates. There are all sorts of routes to attaining skills, and finding those routes is often an achievement in itself.
As an employer, you can have a huge impact on preparing today’s young people for the future of work. Engage in mentorship, training and more, and reconsider your requirements for new hires.