SAP and UNICEF announced a new global partnership to provide quality education, life skills and job skills training to young people in disadvantaged communities, preparing them for decent work and active citizenship.
Announced at an event taking place at the 74th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the three-year partnership will bring together businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations to build sustainable education models. The partnership will focus on workforce inclusion initiatives to help young people thrive, and provide organizations with a prepared workforce.
The partnership will look to develop a standardized national curriculum, workforce readiness programs, and in-depth research to better inform and connect the private sector with future talent.
Sneha Kumari, 18, with her younger sister Prachi in Bihar, India. Sneha is an undergraduate student in History, her favorite subject. She recalls, “One day while I was reading the newspaper I read about the scheme and I told my father about it. I felt really happy, as I knew that my father was finding it difficult to arrange money for my college admission.” * PHOTO – UNICEF
More than 1 in 5 young people today are neither in employment, education or training. Many more are not learning the skills they need to seek decent employment, as today’s rapidly changing economy demands increasingly specialized skills.
“For young people, the path to a successful future goes through quality education that equips them – and empowers them – with the skills they need to thrive in today’s workforce,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “Young people are some of the world’s best creatives, enthusiasts and thinkers. We are excited to work with SAP to harness young people’s energy and ideas, and help them contribute to their economies and societies.”
By 2030, companies and communities throughout the world need to be ready to sustainably integrate 2 billion young people seeking employment into the workforce.
The collaboration will help reach young people across Africa, Asia and Europe, with initial efforts focused on India, Turkey and Viet Nam. It forms part of Generation Unlimited, the global partnership working to prepare young people to become engaged and productive citizens. Launched one year ago, Generation Unlimited convenes multisector public and private investment in education and employment of youth, while engaging young people in these efforts.
“People are anxious about the opportunity gap in this new economy,” said SAP CEO Bill McDermott. “Businesses need to take meaningful steps to upskill the current and future workforce, regardless of their age or where they live in the world. Together with UNICEF, SAP will focus on starting in the classroom where the foundation for every career is built. We will increase collaboration with the public sector and focus on the best possible curriculum to prepare future workers. This is another example where doing what’s right and doing what’s right for business are in perfect harmony.”