Solutions for Youth Employment: A Unique Way of Fostering Private Sector Involvement

Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE)

A Good Job means equality. A Good Job means opportunity. A good job means excitement. A Good Job means sustainability. These are just a few of the descriptions of a “Good Job” that we heard from youth and others in attendance at last October’s launch event for Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE) coalition.

It was at this event that S4YE unveiled a vision for a world where all youth have access to work opportunities that empower them to escape poverty, thus boosting shared prosperity worldwide. An urgent challenge.  A massive opportunity.  

One enabler to achieving this vision is to drive unique partnerships with the private sector, engaging them in differentiating ways.  Accenture is proud to be one of the coalition’s founding partners, with Heidi involved in the formation of the initiative and with Lisa sitting on the Private Sector Advisory Group.   We, along with others at Accenture are bringing best practices and lessons learned from Accenture’s Skills to Succeed corporate citizenship initiative, which aims to equip more than 3 million people with the skills to get a job or build a business by 2020. Further, Skills to Succeed 2020 goals include an increase in focus on the successful transition from skill-building programs to sustainable jobs and businesses, as well as bringing together organizations across sectors to create large-scale, lasting solutions aimed at closing global employment gaps. 

Skills to Succeed addresses the global need for skills that open doors to employment and economic opportunity, a concept that relies on private sector partnerships as a key enabler. For example, with Juntos por el Empleo de los Mas Vulnerable in Spain, Accenture facilitated collaboration among more than 100 social organizations, businesses and public administrations to establish a shared understanding of youth employment challenges. Drawing on the strengths of each organization, solutions are being prioritized and implemented. In the United Kingdom, Accenture is a founding member of Movement to Work, which enables collaboration with other leading UK companies and the government to find new employment solutions for youth.

In addition to being a founding partner of the S4YE coalition, as a global employer Accenture is committed to convening governments, businesses and civil society to identify new insights and scale proven solutions for increasing the number of young people engaged in productive work. We see this role as vital, given the private sector creates nine out of 10 jobs in the developing world, according to the World Bank Group.   

Through its approach to ‘link, leverage and learn,’ Accenture is joining S4YE in establishing new strategic partnerships demonstrating different levels of collaboration. We are bringing together private sector organizations to think creatively about the challenge of youth employment, and then conceive, prioritize and implement differentiating solutions. 

The private sector is an important driver of job growth – by creating new jobs, hiring opportunities and encouraging entrepreneurship.  Our responsibility is profound.  So, too, is the potential value. S4YE’s private sector partnership model has the promise of helping private sector organizations achieve their corporate goals, including entering new markets, driving innovation, gaining access to new talent pools, improving relationships with communities or increasing brand value and reputation.

No one organization or sector can take on this challenge single handedly. It is with great pride and a strong sense of optimism that we at Accenture continue on this amazing journey with our many colleagues and partners.

About the Authors:

Lisa Neuberger-Fernandez, Accenture’s Director of Corporate Citizenship Programs
Heidi Strawson, Accenture’s Global Giving Lead