Joining forces to upskill the world's youth

The jobs of the future are likely to require new skills that are harder to come by in communities where opportunities are lacking. To help bridge this gap, PwC has entered into a collaboration with UNICEF that aims to help upskill millions of young people.

The collaboration supports Generation Unlimited, a multi sector partnership aimed at helping 1.8 billion young people transition from school to work by 2030. Together, we work with young people, businesses and policy makers to help create the right conditions for youth to succeed.

This collaboration represents an important milestone in PwC’s New world. New skills. journey and builds on PwC’s existing community ambition to help maximise the potential of 15 million people, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and social and micro enterprises by 2022.

The time to act is now

There is an urgent need for organisations from the private and public sectors to come together to help youth prepare for the future, given that nearly one quarter of youth aged 18-24 across the globe stopped working during the COVID-19 pandemic and that 20-40% of jobs currently held by 16-24 year olds are at risk of automation by the mid-2030s.

“We believe business has a responsibility to help address the upskilling challenge for all of our stakeholders, including the communities in which we live and work and all of their citizens.”

Bob Moritz, Chairman of the PwC Network

The collaboration addresses global and local needs

Global needs: We encourage a global movement by engaging leaders from government, industry and the international community and urging them to rally behind young people and invest in the development of 21st century skills for the next generation of talent. We do this by:

  • Leveraging our collective assets to co-create thought leadership that sheds light on the upskilling challenges from different perspectives and offers potential solutions for creating better conditions for young people.
    • Stepping forward examines the youth digital divide and how stakeholders from across sectors can work together to help address four core elements that will enable young people to cross the digital divide.
    • Reaching YES identifies three global youth skilling gaps which impede youth from gaining the skills they need and actionable steps for business, government and corporate leaders to address the skilling gaps.
    • The Net Zero Generation makes the case for why governments and businesses must work in partnership to prioritise and invest in green skills for youth, as the net zero transition continues to transform our economies and societies.
  • Facilitating commitment to action across the public and private sectors at a global scale by convening relevant stakeholders to engage in dialogue and debate about the topic of upskilling.

Local needs: We will develop and expand country programmes that meet local needs. For example:

  • In South Africa, PwC and UNICEF are collaborating to work with young women to build Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) skills, with a focus on future technical careers for those who are unable to receive a university education. We are also helping school leavers and job seekers develop the skills of the future through partnerships, advocacy and research.
  •  PwC India works with Generation Unlimited (called YuWaah! in India) to help enable its mission to transform education, skilling and employment with and for India’s 300 million-plus young people. Ongoing engagement with youth provides a blueprint for a platform that PwC and Yuwaah! will design to connect young people with options – offering career guidance, training and ultimately jobs – and with government, so the voice of youth is heard and represented in public policy. 
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Colm Kelly

Colm Kelly

Global Corporate Sustainability Leader, PwC Ireland (Republic of)

Bethan Grillo

Bethan Grillo

Managing Director, Global Corporate Sustainability, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7804 5746