Nestlé needs YOUth

OECD Observer Business brief
"Investing in the future while tackling youth unemployment."




Luis Cantarell
Executive Vice President Nestlé S.A.,
Zone Director for EMENA (Europe, Middle
East and North Africa)

Investing in the future while tackling youth unemployment

At Nestlé, we have a long tradition of recruiting young people directly from schools or universities. We invest in them, build their capabilities and develop their professional career. We do so while embracing diversity of cultures, traditions and opinions. In Europe with one in four young people (about 5.6 million people) out of work, we felt like we could do even more to help address youth unemployment. This is why we launched the three-year programme “Nestlé needs YOUth” in 2014.

Below are the key areas of the programme: 

•  Direct recruitment: to hire 10,000 young people below the age of 30 over a three-year period.
•  Apprenticeships and traineeships: to strengthen our apprenticeship and traineeship programmes to  reach 10,000 young people.
•  Employability: to deploy readiness-for-work activities mobilising our employees to help young people improve their employability in their entry to professional life.
•  Our overall target is to offer 20,000 job opportunities for young people across all our European businesses and offices. This goal   has been communicated to the European Commission and the media in full transparency and is included as a formal commitment       in our Creating Shared Value–Nestlé in Society report 2014.

Delivering on our commitments

The programme was successfully launched across all European markets and has delivered a mixture of jobs, apprenticeships and traineeship opportunities across all areas of the business, from the factory floor to business managers to young people (from those with vocational skills to newly qualified graduates). The 2014 results demonstrated the high relevance of our initiative for the young people as well as for Nestlé business.

In total, 11,832 young people were helped to find a job or apprenticeship/traineeship opportunity.

  • 4,142 young people were offered traineeships and apprenticeships

Regarding the readiness-for-work initiatives, 1,677 events (CV clinics, job fairs, unemployment offices etc) have been organised across Europe with more 5,600 Nestlé employees mobilised.

In parallel, we are working to implement VET/apprenticeship schemes in EU countries with no tradition (notably southern Europe) or where they had disappeared (eastern Europe). Currently Nestlé subsidiaries are liaising with local authorities and education providers, with new apprenticeship programmes already agreed in a number of factories in the Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, the Slovak Republic and Spain. The capabilities can be then replicated by others to make a systemic change in the relevant countries.

The creation of the Alliance for YOUth led to the mobilisation of around 200 companies from all over Europe that joined the initiative in 2014. These efforts will lead to more than 100,000 opportunities for young people in the coming years. All partners of the Alliance for YOUth have agreed to sign the pledge of the European Alliance for Apprenticeship, an EU project promoting apprenticeship schemes across Europe. The Alliance for YOUth has launched All4YOUth, a new social platform on Facebook aimed at helping young people find a job. The platform has been designed by young people with powerful content linked to job offers, CV clinics, and job interview tips presented in a creative and youth friendly tone.

The way forward

The success of this initiative across Europe and versus all stakeholders and the positive impact on our employer branding has demonstrated its relevance for our business to attract young talent at an early stage and develop the right skills for the business.

In this respect it was decided to launch the Global Youth Initiative worldwide to support young people’s employability in their transition from education to work and to develop at the same time the next generation of Nestlé employees and leaders.

Nestlé, with its global presence, has a unique opportunity to leverage youth’s potential around the world, contributing even further to tackling youth unemployment (73 million unemployed and more than 200 million underemployed young people).

The focus of the Global Youth Initiative will be the following:

  • Implement or strengthen existing apprenticeship and traineeship programs 
  • Enhance “readiness for work” activities in all markets

The Global Youth Initiative is currently being implemented and was officially launched in Mexico in February 2015.

In Europe, we will continue delivering on our commitments and reinforcing the Alliance for YOUth with the same conviction and determination.

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