With the aim of educating and up-skilling 1.5 million young South Africans by 2025, this December, Unilever is launching the LevelUp Digital Hub to provide online training and mentorship programs to inspire the next generation of change-makers.
The world’s youth are currently facing wide and complex challenges, especially when it comes to education and finding employment. Out of 1.8 billion young people worldwide, 126 million of them live in extreme poverty, and 267 million are classified as NEETs (youths not in education, employment or training). The Covid-19 pandemic is set to worsen the current outlook, potentially costing this generation over $10 trillion, and disrupting the education of approximately 1 billion students. In South Africa alone, 59% of the 10.3 million young people are unemployed, 6.5 million live in moderate to extreme poverty and 3.5 million are NEETs.
As recently as last week, Stats SA announced that over the past year, South Africa had reached an unemployment rate of 30.8% – a record high.
At Unilever, they believe they have a responsibility to help young people acquire the right skills they need to become productive and engaged members of society. The next generation needs us all to join in the fight against joblessness. To do this, they need as much guidance and education as possible, which is why Unilever is launching the LevelUp Hub on the 7th of December. The hub is a digital platform that provides young people in South Africa with personal and professional skills development and access to work and volunteer opportunities. Through the LevelUp Hub, they aim to empower young people and cultivate their talent through online courses – some already available on the hub’s site – mentorship programs with Unilever employees and career coaching that will help give our youth the edge as they pursue their chosen career.
The challenges young people are facing in education and employment are complex and interconnected, and will require innovative partnerships between the public and private sector. They know they can’t solve these problems alone, which is why they are excited to be working in partnership with Microsoft South Africa, Pearson and LinkedIn whose learning content will be featured on the Hub alongside a series of monthly Master Classes. From career guidance and job interview skills development to career counselling and education on of diversity and inclusion, the LevelUp Hub provides real, useful advice to new graduates who are trying to make their way into the world of work.
They are excited to take this first step in helping build a better South Africa through empowering and “Levelling Up” our youth.
“At Unilever, we constantly strive to make the world a better place. The challenges that our planet faces today can only be solved through our collective effort to make a positive change. Young people have a critical role to play in helping us build a fairer, safer and more prosperous world, and contributing to our mission of making sustainable living commonplace. That is why it is really important for us to be part of building the change-makers of tomorrow,” said Mechell Chetty, HR VP Africa.