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Increasing rates of youth unemployment remains a challenge, while at the same time businesses of all types and sizes are struggling to fill a wide range of digital technology roles that are critical for future growth.

Our 2022 goal

Support 10 million young people to access digital skills, learning and employment opportunities

The digital skills gap

Demand for digital skills already outstrips the supply of available talent, despite high levels of youth unemployment and the ability for young people in Europe to move easily across the EU in search of work.

The EU Digital Skills and Job Coalition reports that 37% of EU workers have insufficient digital skills1 and there are clear signs that the digital skills gap is widening. By 2020, there could be almost 500,000 unfilled digital technology jobs in Europe2.

67% of 18-24s believe they have received insufficient careers advice for the digital economy

Urgent action is needed to help young people develop their digital skills and access learning and employment opportunities

Support 10 million young people to access digital skills through our What will you be? programme

We commissioned YouGov to conduct a major international public opinion survey. It asked 6,000 young people aged 18–24, living in 15 countries, for their views about the future world of work3. The results reveal the extent to which young people believe they are ill-equipped to participate in the digital economy:

56% believed the greatest struggle for their generation will be finding any kind of well-paid, permanent job

67% had received insufficient careers advice

38% felt this advice was too narrowly focused on non-digital roles

This research confirmed our belief that urgent action is needed to help young people to develop their digital skills in order to access employment opportunities and ultimately thrive in the digital economy. Vodafone’s What will you be? programme is our response to this challenge. Our two ambitious targets focus on the impact we can have if we can support young people to understand how they can contribute to the digital economy and outline what we can do within our business to provide more digital workplace experiences.

Future Jobs Finder

Over the past year, Vodafone has worked with psychologists, HR professionals, training providers and young people to develop a free smartphonebased service called Future Jobs Finder, designed to inspire and help young people to understand their strengths and skills and find the right job opportunity in the digital economy. The simple, yet comprehensive, gateway allows users to gain and practise new skills, understand more about their strengths, discover digital job opportunities and access digital training.

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 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.

References

  1. The Digital Skills and Jobs Coalition, 2018
  2. EU Commission, 2018
  3. Vodafone/ YouGov ‘The State of iGen’ research 2017