The Vodafone Group announced today that, from now to 2022, it will help up to 10 million young people to develop their digital skills and help them find jobs in an increasingly technological and digital market. Entitled ‘What will you be?’, this is the world’s biggest programme to prepare young people (aged 14-25) for the digital economy and provide career counselling in 18 of the countries where the Group is present.
The initiative comprises two main areas of action: the Future Jobs Finder tool and the increase in the number of places for young people who will obtain digital work experience in the Group’s various operations every year.
This commitment to help young people achieve their full potential in the digital world was made today at a meeting in Brussels, which included Vodafone Group CEO Vittorio Colao, the Head of Cabinet for the Economy and Digital Societies of the European Union , Lora Borissova, and the Deputy Director of the OECD’s Education and Skills Department, Montserrat Gomendio. The results of the survey ‘The State of iGen’, which revealed the insufficient preparation of young people for the digital economy (complete research can be found here), were also announced at this event.
Developed by Vodafone in close collaboration with experienced psychologists, career advisors and trainers, the Future Jobs Finder (https://futurejobsfinder.vodafone.com) is a tool for developing digital skills and accessing job opportunities in this area. It will enable users to perform a series of psychometric tests designed to identify their skills and interests and suggest the occupations best matched to the profile of each individual in the digital jobs market.
According to the results obtained, the young people are guided towards the employment opportunities existing in companies of the most varied sectors worldwide, including Vodafone. In addition, information is provided about training courses, many of them free of charge, as well as a summary of each user’s core competencies and strengths, which can be used to improve their curriculum vitae.
As regards the increase in opportunities for young people in the Vodafone Group, the Company revealed that over the next five years it will double this number worldwide, impacting a total of about 100,000 people. This objective constitutes the biggest commitment Vodafone has ever undertaken in its 33 years of existence. In Portugal, the ambition is to reach around 3000 young people by the end of 2022.
The Vodafone Group’s decision to take these steps results from the Company’s wish to contribute to halting the alarming number of unemployed young people, and to make up for the lack of digital-oriented training for the younger generation.
Currently, the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that there are more than 200 million young people either unemployed or in precarious employment. In many of the countries where the Vodafone Group operates, youth unemployment is at worrying levels, for example in Italy (38%), Spain (39%) and Greece (47%). In Portugal, the ILO states that the percentage of young people aged under 24 without work in 2017 was 23.8%.
Despite these numbers, the business sector still faces many difficulties filling vacancies for technology-related positions which, with the development of the digital economy, are increasingly crucial to the growth of any company. The European Commission estimates that around 500,000 digital jobs across the European Union will remain unfilled by 2025.
“No society can prosper if a large part of its young people are unemployed. Throughout history, new technologies have been replacing people in many industries, reducing the number of available jobs. At the same time, however, other jobs have begun to emerge. In time all workplaces will be digital, giving rise to growing demand for professionals specialised in digital and technological skills. We want to help the younger generation to avoid being excluded from the new world of work”, said Vodafone Group CEO, Vittorio Colao.
Starting a professional career at Vodafone
The ‘What will you be?’ programme is yet another tool provided by Vodafone to tap the potential of the youth segment. According to Guy Ruder, Director-General of ILO, its appearance at this moment is “timely and very welcome”. “The digital economy has enormous potential to create employment opportunities for young people and to act as a catalyst for growth and sustainable development. This potential can only be realised if young people have the skills that rapidly changing economies require. Tools like the Future Jobs Finder can certainly help them discover the right path to their future”, he added.
In all the markets where Vodafone operates, there already exist programmes developed specifically to promote opportunities not only for learning and growth, but also for initial contact with the labour market. These include Vodafone Discover Graduates (a two-year programme for recent Masters graduates), Summer Internships (a two- or five-month programme for Higher Education students), High School Job Shadowing (for secondary school students), Apprenticeships (internships for vocational secondary school students) or projects such as Girls in STEM, where teenagers receive training in programming. In addition to these programmes, the Vodafone Foundation and the Vodafone Club regularly organise digital training projects for young people.
The Future Jobs Finder tool is now available in the Human Resources area of the Vodafone Portugal website.