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YouthCan! is a global partnership that supports disadvantaged young people to successfully manage the transition from school to independent adulthood.

 By mobilising employees, activating their networks and providing expertise corporates are making a measurable impact in the lives of young people around the globe whilst efficiently working to reduce youth unemployment. 

The risk of labour market and social exclusion is especially high for young people at risk of losing parental care or who have already lost it. They lack support networks and positive role models, skills training and work experience. Young people, who grow up without the care of their families, often leave the care system ill-equipped to compete effectively on the labour market. Many of them are unemployed, pursue precarious employment conditions, and are exposed to a high risk of poverty. 

60 % of young people leaving SOS Children’s Villages’ family-based care programmes are self-reliant. One of SOS Children’s Villages’ strategic ambitions is to raise this number to 90 % by 2030.

The objective

YouthCan! follows the successful Deutsche Post DHL Group – SOS Children’s Villages Global partnership model and aims to:

• Create direct opportunities for young people to be more employable by empowering them with knowledge and relevant skills and offering them opportunities based on market needs and their capabilities.
• Build an action-centred practitioners network of existing and new corporate partners to visibly increase the measurable impact of corporate partnerships on youth unemployment and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
• Grow the platform of corporate partners who come together for an increased impact on youth unemployment through sharing and leveraging successful initiatives and market expertise.
• Exchange learnings to scale up successful initiatives and working models, making good practices replicable and increasing the joint impact.
• Create evidence-based research that can be shared to improve youth employability practices on national and global level.
• Inspire and invite other global and local actors to replicate the model

Who benefits from this initiative?

• The initiative is developed for young people between 15-25 years of age who are currently participating in SOS programmes. When possible, young people from local communities and other child care organisations will also be offered the opportunity to join the initiative.  Each country will be able to adapt the age group within this range and offer opportunities to young people in the upper age group.

• Experience has shown that employees of the corporate partners  are more motivated and loyal towards the company after participating in such programmes. In addition, technical skills such as presentation and mentoring skills are improved. The volunteers get an insight to future generations and a deeper knowledge of the society that surrounds them contributing to opening their mind-set.

• By partnering with YouthCan! corporates are able to reinforce their CSR and presence not only in their home country, but also abroad, strengthening new markets. They will become direct actors contributing to the achievement of the SDGs. Corporates also get visibility in an innovative project, joint communications material from all partner and reporting data provided by digital platform.

How can your corporate contribute to YouthCan!

 Giving your employees the opportunity to take an active part in the initiative through volunteering opportunities and time. Creating mentors and guides for the young people in our programmes.
 Provide expertise and core competence.
 Becoming part of formulating the global initiative YouthCan! and its way forward. Contributing with market expertise and gaining an insight to the future generations.
 Provide resources to the programme in the form of:
  Volunteers’/ employees’ time, sharing of opportunities for apprenticeships, workplace exposure to youth.
 Financial resources for the management of the platform enabling it to grow and reach more young people in more countries.
 Connect and give access to networks of individuals and other organizations to increase the visibility of YouthCan!
 Giving SOS programmes an insight to the labour market in the country, ensuring our initiatives stay relevant be it on blue or white collar level.
• Contribute with different experience on CSR practices.
• Provide career opportunities for youth involved in the programmes matching the needs of the youth and capabilities of the corporates in the countries.

What is it really about?

In a nutshell, our corporate partners lend us their employees for a variety of activities to support the young people in our programmes while evidently and measurably contributing to the SDGs. The activities are jointly developed by our local counterparts to ensure accuracy and relevance for the current labour market. Tools for joint planning and recommendations for successful activities will be shared.

The areas YouthCan! can cover are:

 Orientation: Volunteers/ employees act as mentors for guidance and job orientation; for example by providing a soft skills training.
 Access: Volunteers render information and orientation about application and recruitment procedures, train participants in critical skills, i.e.: CV-writing, computer skills, language development, interview trainings, goal setting, emotional intelligence and career planning.
 Professional and technical training: Vocational training, tertiary education, career development. Training on ICT skills or language skills, guidance on virtual calls and messages exchange.
 Expose young people to professional work environments, i.e.: internships, apprenticeships, job shadowing and other opportunities that facilitate practical experience.
 Platforms and information: Job fairs, job and business networks and access to other relevant stakeholders
 Entrepreneurship training: entrepreneurship and seed funding are options to be explored.
 Motivation: Share your employees’ personal and work experience through webinars, video recording on a day in your job, etc. Inspire young people to join the job force.
 Readiness: Volunteers support SOS young people in preparing for an interview, review and advise on their CVs and motivation letters, share templates, recreate a job interview, or train on emotional intelligence and career planning.
 Intelligent volunteering: Share your skills in a certain domain that relates to your job: administration, accounting, logistics, secretariat, etc.