According to the International Labour Organization latest Global Employee Trends Report, 267 million young people globally aged 15–24 years are not currently in education, employment or training (NEET). With the changing demographics of the labor market - and the impact of the pandemic - it is now more important than ever to ensure that young people are equipped with the right skills for decent work and entrepreneurship. 

On the 15th July, we celebrate UN World Youth Skills Day in recognition of the important work taking place across the world.

The COVID-19 pandemic disproportionately affected young people not only in terms of their participation in the labor market but also through severe disruptions in education and training. The International Labour Organization found that the employment loss for young people as a result of the crisis was more than double that of older workers (youth employment fell by 8.7% in 2020 compared with 3.7% for adults).

our commitment and progress

At Randstad, we believe in realizing everyone’s full potential, and we enable this in our day-to-day business to create value for our clients, our candidates, our employees and for society. Randstad is committed to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4: quality education – specifically its sub-goal to substantially increase the number of youths and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship. 

In 2021, Randstad placed 762,000 candidates younger than 25 in meaningful employment. Our employees aged 18 to 24 represent 7% of our total workforce. We have also placed 62,000 candidates without a formal degree. And we are incredibly proud that across our organization, we have several social innovation programs aimed at improving the employability of young people.

how we are helping

We actively support measures to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and to promote lifelong learning for all. Around the globe, we are involved in programs that create a bridge between the business world, students and young starters.

In Belgium, Randstad Young Talents has been active since 2012 creating student side jobs and starter jobs that have produced remarkable results. Last year, we coached 1,000 students for their entry into the labor market. We have organized workshops on various topics for some 2,000 people, and we created 700 study-related roles. We also helped more than 300 young people find their first job.

In Italy, we partnered with ITS Tech Talent Factory Foundation, a school focused on teaching young people to use technology and develop digital skills. To date, we have provided 7 courses for 230 students. In 2021, 73 of them graduated and we were able to connect 90% of them with jobs as a result of the program. 

In our partnership with Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO), the development of youth skills is at the forefront of everything we do. Our goal is to empower younger workers to attain decent and sustainable work, which is often achieved through skills development programs. Every year, about 100 Randstad employees volunteer to support various projects that help young people develop market-relevant skills so they are ready for the labor market. 

One successful example of our volunteer support and training is a project in Tanzania which matched the business, marketing, and financial experience of our employee volunteers with a group of young welders with the ambition to turn their skills into a furniture making business. 

“We are more organized and confident in how to run the business. We have had the opportunity to attend several training sessions on group leadership, asset building and financial literacy. We can now afford to meet our basic needs,” said Neema Mussa, a 27-year-old group leader.

Youth Image
Youth Image

Another exciting partnership brings together Randstad, Palladium and VSO as the fund managers of the Challenge Fund for Youth Employment. The Challenge Fund was set up by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the purpose of creating decent work for 200,000 young people in Africa and the Middle East. By providing equal opportunities for young women in the labor market, program participants enjoy more opportunities for jobs and for improved quality of work. 

One project selected by the Challenge Fund is Healthy Entrepreneurs, a social business in which women (85%) and men (15%) become small business owners, selling essential over the-counter medicines and health products as well as disseminating health information. The project aims to create and improve 10,000 jobs in rural Uganda and will mostly be achieved through additional training for health workers. Randstad supported this project directly in the recruitment and selection strategy and in building its training program. 

To learn more about other initiatives that improve employability for young people, please refer to our Local Sustainability Initiatives 2021 Report. 

about the author

marina Illerhues

corporate citizenship manager