SOS Children’s Villages helped more than 5,000 vulnerable young people transition from school into decent employment last year – empowering them to escape poverty and lead financially independent lives.
The SOS YouthCan! programme offers young people without parental care the skills, training and career development support they need to improve their future life-chances. Run in partnership with the private sector, YouthCan! connects young people with corporate volunteers who share their time, expertise and personal career stories. They also plan workshops and training courses, act as mentors and role-models and facilitate exposure to professional environments.
The global programme is tailored to meet the individual needs of each young person, as well as their local labour market. Employees and young people can connect face-to-face or through digital platforms, enabling worldwide collaborative learning through online mentoring and breaking down geographical barriers.
More than 70 million young people worldwide are unemployed and finding decent work can pose even greater challenges for teenagers who lack the networks, resources and guidance that families can offer. Consequently, young people without parental care often face social and economic exclusion and have limited access to the labour market.
SOS Children’s Villages International CEO Norbert Meder said: “The transition into independent adulthood is never easy. However, for young people who cannot depend on their family as a source of support, who do not experience stable homes and social protection, finding decent employment is often a matter of creating or losing their future.
“70 years of providing care to children and youth have given us a solid understanding of the support needed to help young people gain the necessary confidence, skills and networks to pave their way into a sustainable future.
“The YouthCan! partnership is at the core of SOS Children’s Villages’ solution to the global problem of youth unemployment, putting a special focus on young people without parental care. Supported by our corporate partners and their volunteers, YouthCan! creates holistic and individual employability solutions for young people. It unlocks their potential, empowering them to build a brighter future for themselves, and in turn, for their communities.”
The YouthCan! project grew rapidly in 2018, reaching 30% more young people than in 2017 and expanding into 15 additional countries. It has proven incredibly effective at increasing young people’s self-esteem, skill-levels and goal setting abilities, with 95% of young people reporting that they:
- Gained skills that make them more likely to be employed
- Have a better understanding of how to search for and apply for jobs, and how to behave in a professional environment
- Think more positively about their future
- Feel more self-confident and motivated about taking up employment
Find out more about our work tackling the youth unemployment crisis.
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