The global context
Youth unemployment is a significant global social and economic challenge: more than 209 million young people are either unemployed or work while living in poverty1.
Despite high levels of youth unemployment, demand for digital skills already outstrips the supply of available talent. While many young people are ‘digital natives’, most do not leave education with the depth of technical skills needed to create and run the technologies our economies are increasingly reliant on, such as writing code, mitigating cybersecurity risks or designing, configuring and maintaining electronic devices and wireless or fixed-line networks.
The EU Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition reports that 37% of EU workers have insufficient digital skills and there are clear signs that the digital skills gap is widening. By the end of next year, there could be almost 500,000 unfilled digital technology jobs in Europe2.
In many of the countries where we operate, youth unemployment remains at very high levels.
32% in Italy
34% in Spain
40% in Greece
53% in South Africa.
Our contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Our approach is contributing to SDGs 4 and 8
SDG 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
SDG 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for allFind out more about our contribution to the UN SDGs
We believe we can have the greatest impact on five of the UN SDGs through our networks, products and services and through the work of the Vodafone Foundation.
We believe urgent action is needed to help young people develop their digital skills and access learning and employment opportunities that will help them thrive in the digital economy. Our commitment to support young people to address these dual challenges is predominantly addressed through SDG 8, which aims to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.