The OECD’s “Stand by Youth” program aims at underlining the urge of providing support to young people entering the labour market.
The launch event, held on July 8th, was an opportunity to discuss the striking consequences that Covid-19 has had on employment rates, especially for the youngest. In fact, according to Ms. Lamia Kamal-Chaoui (Director of OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities), “The COVID-19 crisis has already pushed youth unemployment rates upwards in nearly all OECD countries with the rise in youth unemployment twice as strong as for other generations” ( you can find Kamal-Chaoui’s full article here).
Undeniably, the pandemic has become not only a health crisis, but especially a crisis of opportunities. Therefore, what can business do to provide effective support and prospects to the youth?
The “Stand by Youth” launch event offered fruitful suggestions. For instance, Laurent Freixie, CEO of Zone Americas at Nestlè, advanced the idea of “Readiness for Work” programs: workshops for young people centred on how to write an efficacious CV or to be ready for a successful job interview. Furthermore, according to Jesus Gomez, Chief Diversity Officer at Daimler Trucks México, it is fundamental to offer advantageous internships “as 26% of young people get a job through trainees” as well as setting soft skills such as public speaking and public relations. For these reasons, it emerged how is necessary for young people to comprehend the business world’s constant changes and be always willing to learn and to adapt providing value to the labour market. Muriel Penicaud, French ambassador at OECD and former Minister of Work, believes that “the collective effort of businesses and governments will enable us to avoid a sacrificed and lost generation.” The French ambassador also hopes that the vaccination process will be heading to an economic recovery soon.
As the Stand By Youth campaign builds momentum, we are inviting companies to share their work and examples of initiatives for supporting youngsters with us via this link and on social media to inspire others using the #StandbyYouth. We are particularly interested in receiving more examples and input from SMEs and collecting more success stories.