Joining forces to upskill the world's youth

The jobs of the future are likely to require new skills. 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 will support Generation Unlimited, a multi sector partnership aimed at helping 1.8 billion young people transition from school to work by 2030. Together, we will 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.

Stronger together

Bringing together PwC and UNICEF's unique and complementary skills, experience and resources can help achieve a greater impact. But why is upskilling youth important? And how will we collaborate? Bob Moritz, Chairman of the PwC Network, and UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore spoke with Juliette Foster at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland earlier this year to answer these questions and more.

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The time to act is now

With a third of youth surveyed by UNICEF saying they lack opportunities to acquire skills for the future and around 20-40% of jobs currently held by 16-24 year olds at risk of automation by the mid-2030s, there is an urgent need for organisations from the private and public sectors to come together to help youth prepare for the future. There is also a strong business case for investing in upskilling. Our latest Global CEO Survey found that 74% of CEOs are concerned about finding the right people with the right skills for the future.

“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 will address global and local needs

Global needs: We will 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 will do this by:

  • Hearing from youth directly on the skills they wish to develop for future employment and the degree to which they currently have access to opportunities to develop these skills
  • 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
  • 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, where youth unemployment reached 53% in 2018, PwC and UNICEF will collaborate 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 will also help school leavers and job seekers develop the skills of the future through partnerships, advocacy and research.
  • In India, PwC will work 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 will provide 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. 

Contact us

Bethan Grillo

Bethan Grillo

Managing Director, Global Purpose, Corporate Responsibility, New World New Skills, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 20 7804 5746

Andrea Plasschaert

Andrea Plasschaert

Senior manager, Global communications, PwC Switzerland

Tel: +41 79 599 9567

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