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Upskilling young people is essential to the future


Unilever partners with UNICEF in support of Generation Unlimited to provide over 1 million young people in India and Brazil with the skills they need for employment.

Young people chatting under a tree

Imagine if all young people growing up around the world entered the workplace with the right skills. The potential for their personal development – and global progress – would be unlimited.

From raising productivity and reducing inequality to creating businesses and improving communities, there’s no end to the benefits their talents and ideas could bring.

The right to an education is enshrined in Article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Through education, young people can acquire the skills they need in order to actively engage with opportunities and truly fulfil their potential.

Extraordinary challenges

However, young people today face extraordinary economic, social and cultural challenges and need a wide variety of skills to thrive in work and life, including basic literacy and numeracy, digital and interpersonal skills.

According to a new report (Opens in a pop-up window) by the Education Commission and UNICEF, three-quarters of young people aged between 15 and 24 are off-track to gain the skills needed for employment. Furthermore, one in three young women are not learning, training or working.

Supporting Generation Unlimited

One way Unilever is helping to address these challenges is through a collaboration with UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited (Opens in a pop-up window), a global multi-sector partnership created to meet the urgent need for expanded education, training and employment opportunities for young people on an unprecedented scale.

Close-up of two young women at an outdoor event
© UNICEF/Vishwanathan

Empowering volunteers

Our Dirt is Good brand is helping Generation Unlimited expand the Global Volunteering Initiative (Opens in a pop-up window), which currently empowers 12.5 million volunteers in 40 countries to be a force for good within their communities.

Our partnership aims to help over 1 million young people in India and Brazil to take action and build the valuable and transferable soft skills that they will need to thrive in a complex and uncertain world.

Equipping 10 million young people with the essential skills needed for work opportunities by 2030

As part of Unilever’s Compass priorities and commitment to youth skills development, we have committed to helping 10 million young people aged between 15 and 24 years to gain the employment skills that will help them find meaningful work opportunities and prepare for the future of work. Our work with Generation Unlimited is one of the many ways we are working to achieve this aim.

Empowering girls through education

Unilever and Generation Unlimited are also partners in the UK government’s innovative Girls’ Education Skills Partnership, joining forces to boost access to education and employment for girls in developing countries. With funding from the partnership, Generation Unlimited will help expand the Passport to Earning digital skills platform that provides girls with free certified education and skills training, and links them to future employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. It will also support the Challenge Fund that aims to equip girls with the skills they need to pursue a career in STEM.

As Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer, says: “Youth unemployment is a global challenge that has been compounded by Covid-19 related disruption. By harnessing their desire for purposeful action and matching it with skills training and know-how, Unilever and Generation Unlimited can empower young people to become dynamic leaders and entrepreneurs who promote equality and positive change in their communities and the world.”

Main image © UNICEF//Pinheiro


United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), Registered Charity No. 1072612 (England & Wales), SC043677 (Scotland).

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