Vodafone Launches International Future Jobs Programme to Provide Career Guidance in the Digital Economy

April 4, 20189:57 am1760 views

The British telecoms operators, Vodafone has launched an international future jobs programme on Mar 20. The “What will you be?” programme is claimed to be the world’s largest of its kind that aims to provide career guidance and access to training content in the digital economy. It expects to help up to 10 million young workers across 18 countries over the globe, including India, Egypt, and New Zealand.

Vodafone has also announced its plans to bring in a significant increase of young people into the team as part of the efforts to provide direct experience of the digital experience. The multinational company is set to expand its existing graduate, apprenticeship, internship, and work experience schemes throughout the world to reach a total of up to 100,000 young people by 2022.

The two initiatives were introduced as Vodafone revealed the results of a major international public survey finding that young adults aged 18-24 believe they are ill-equipped to actually participate in today’s digital economy, despite being the first generation to be ‘born digital’.

Vodafone Group Chief Executive Vittorio Colao said, “No society can prosper if large numbers of its young people find themselves excluded from employment. Throughout history, new technologies have displaced established roles across multiple industries, narrowing the range of job opportunities. However, as old roles fall away, new roles emerge. Over time, every workplace will go digital, creating accelerating demand for a wide range of specialist technology skills. We want to help connect the new generation to the new world of work.”

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Latest data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) estimated that 200 million young people are either unemployed or own a job but live in poverty. In countries such as Greece and South Africa where Vodafone operates, for example, youth unemployment is at record levels, hitting 47 percent and 53 percent in both countries respectively. Previous studies revealed that a prolonged period unemployment shortly after a young person completes his education to join the workforce could have a lifelong negative effect on individual confidence, self-esteem, and wellbeing.

Paradoxically, the high rate of youth unemployment is rising just as businesses of all types and sizes are struggling to fill a wide range of digital technology roles that are critical for future growth. Due to this condition, the European Commission estimates that around 500,000 digital jobs across the European Union will remain unfilled by 2020.

ILO Director-General Guy Ryder said, “This is a timely and welcome initiative by Vodafone. The digital economy has enormous potential to create decent jobs for youth and act as a catalyst for sustainable growth and development. This potential can only be realised if young people are equipped with the skills needed by our fast-changing economies. Tools such as the Future Job Finder can help them get on the right path.”

Over the next five years, Vodafone plans to double the number of opportunities offered to those under-25s to gain early experience to the world of work, reaching a total of 100,000. This represents the largest commitment to training and development of young people since the founding of Vodafone 33 years ago.

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