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Vodafone launches huge recruitment drive to help up to 10 million young people find work

The programme will provide career guidance and training in the digital economy for 10 million young people across 18 countries

Vodafone last week announced its plans for a significant increase in the number of young people brought into the company to gain direct experience of the digital workplace.  The Vodafone will expand its existing graduate, apprenticeship, internship and work experience schemes worldwide2 to reach a total of up to 100,000 young people by 2022.

After recently publishing a major international public opinion survey of young adults aged 18-24 which revealed the extent to which young adults aged 18-24 believe they are ill-equipped to participate in the digital economy despite being the first generation to be “born digital”, Vodafone decided then to announce these two initiatives.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that over 200 million young people are either unemployed or have a job but live in poverty. In many of the countries in which Vodafone operates, youth unemployment is at record levels, from 38% in Italy and 39% in Spain to 47% in Greece and 53% in South Africa. Previous studies have found that a prolonged period of unemployment shortly after a young person leaves education to enter the workforce can have a lifelong negative effect on individual confidence, self-esteem and wellbeing.

Vodafone has worked with specialist psychologists, careers advisers and training providers over the last year to develop a smartphone-based service – called the Future Jobs Finder – offering young people a simple but comprehensive gateway to new skills and opportunities for employment in the digital economy.  Quick psychometric tests have been designed to identify each individuals aptitudes and interests and then match these to the most appropriate job category in the digital economy. In the second step, the jobseeker is directed to specific job opportunities in their chosen location, including opportunities with Vodafone. Users can also access relevant online digital skills training providers, with many of these courses available for free. Once the tests have been completed, users also receive a summary of their skills and interests that can be used on their C.V. or in a job application.

As a leading technology company, Vodafone has a strong employer brand recognised by young people and is a desirable company to work for in this digital age. In each of the 26 countries in which Vodafone operates, there are well-established graduate, apprenticeship and internship schemes as well as a wide range of work experience opportunities including coding classes for high school girls. Over the next five years, Vodafone will double the number of opportunities offered to under-25s to experience the world of work, reaching a total of 100,000. This represents the largest commitment to training and development of young people since the company was founded, 33 years ago.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said: “This is a timely and welcome initiative by Vodafone. The digital economy has enormous potential to create decent jobs for youth and act as a catalyst for sustainable growth and development. This potential can only be realised if young people are equipped with the skills needed by our fast-changing economies. Tools such as the Future Job Finder can help them get on the right path.”

Vodafone Group Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said: “No society can prosper if large numbers of its young people find themselves excluded from employment. Throughout history, new technologies have displaced established roles across multiple industries, narrowing the range of job opportunities. However, as old roles fall away, new roles emerge. Over time, every workplace will go digital, creating accelerating demand for a wide range of specialist technology skills. We want to help connect the new generation to the new world of work.”

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