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This year, 6,556 new recruits aged 25 or under joined our businesses around the world.

Over the next four years, we have committed to increase the number of opportunities we offer to under-25s, so they have the opportunity to experience the world of work at Vodafone. This represents the largest commitment Vodafone has ever made to the training and development of young people since our company was founded over 30 years ago.

Our 2022 goal

Provide up to 100,000 young people with a digital workplace experience at Vodafone

This year, we provided opportunities for over an estimated 14,000 young people to experience the digital workplace at Vodafone.

Internships, digital skills and work experience

This year, we expanded our work experience programmes significantly. In 2018, we provided opportunities for over an estimated 14,000 young people to experience the digital workplace at Vodafone, double the number we offered in 2017. This encompassed a number of different programmes, including bring your child to work days, one-week placements, job shadowing and insight into work days, alongside innovative experiences such as #Codelikeagirl, which offers 14-18-year-old girls immersive digital training during the school holidays.

Our internship programmes provide opportunities for undergraduate students to work with us while they complete their degree for up to six months. These opportunities help to expose students to challenging business-critical activities and projects enabling them to gain relevant business experience to support their studies.

#Codelikeagirl: Helping girls prepare for a career in digital technology

For centuries, women have played an important role in science. More recently, they have also made key contributions to digital technology. Without pioneers like Hedy Lamarr and Barbara Liskov, we would not have WiFi or email, as we know them.

Helping young people get started in telecoms in South Africa

South Africa’s persistently high unemployment rate has a particularly negative impact on young people, with 54% of under-25s unemployed2.

We have developed a one-year Vodacom Learnership programme that consists of classroom-based learning and on-the-job training at the offices and stores of our South Africa-based subsidiary, Vodacom Group.


We continue to expand our vocational training and apprenticeship programmes that enable young people, who have chosen not to go to university, to join Vodafone in permanent roles while being supported through continuous learning in order to gain a formal qualification in their chosen fields. During 2017-18, we extended our apprenticeship scheme from eight to 19 markets, with 696 young people gaining a place on our scheme.

Bringing apprentices into Vodafone Germany

Apprenticeships are a good alternative for high school students who do not want to pursue an academic education before starting work. Vodafone Germany offers apprenticeships in three areas: consumer retail, customer care and technology. All our apprenticeships last between 2.5 and 3.5 years, during which time participants combine part-time work at Vodafone with their studies at vocational schools. Since 2013, Vodafone Germany has hired between 90 and 105 apprentices every year.

Graduate programmes

Our Discover graduate programme, which has been running for 10 years, offers young people with bachelor’s or master’s degrees a series of assignments across our business areas and local markets. It has brought over 4,500 graduates into our structured development schemes, with 857 recruited this year, providing us with a strong pipeline of future talent.

In addition, over the last eight years 170 individuals have joined our Columbus leadership fast-track graduate scheme. This programme offers graduates who have completed their Discover graduate scheme a two-year international assignment that aims to equip them with the knowledge and insights that will prepare them for the next stage of their Vodafone career. This year, 21 graduates joined the programme and will experience international career opportunities in 12 different locations.

Our contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

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 all

Find out more about our contribution to the UN SDGs
SDG 4: Quality education SDG 5: Gender equality SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth SDG 9: Industry, innovation and infrastructure SDG 13: Climate action

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 are predominantly addressed through SDG 8, which aims to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.