Nestlé helps prepare 300,000 young people in Africa to enter the world of work

Hundreds of thousands of young people in Africa will benefit from training to prepare them for work, while thousands will gain apprenticeships and traineeships at Nestlé, the company’s CEO Paul Bulcke has announced. 

“Under our Nestlé Global Youth Initiative, we will create more than 3,000 apprenticeships and traineeship opportunities in Africa by the end of 2018. We will provide readiness-for-work training for more than 300,000 young people over the same period,” Mr Bulcke said.

The training will include career advice, CV workshops and interview guidance, and will take place at Nestlé sites, career fairs and in schools and colleges across the continent.

“Nestlé will also build and strengthen strategic partnerships with organisations supporting youth development,” Mr Bulcke added.

Encouraging youth entrepreneurship

Mr Bulcke was speaking at Nestlé’s Creating Shared Value Forum in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, where business, civil society and government leaders from Africa and beyond are focused on ‘Investing in Sustainable Development in Africa’.

Youth unemployment presents serious global social and economic challenges, and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 8, Target 8.6 aims to ‘substantially reduce the proportion of young people not in employment, education or training by 2020’. 

Africa is a continent of opportunity that is home to 1.2 billion people, 70% of whom are 30 years old or younger. It is vital that these people have access to decent job opportunities. Nestlé is working hard to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, and Mr Bulcke’s announcement shows the important role business has to play.

In the Central and West Africa Region (CWAR), more than 50 young people under 30 have already been recruited as full time Nestlé employees in 2015.

Over 100 interns from across the region have been employed under Nestlé CWAR’s internship programme in the same period. 

In 2016, Management Trainee Programmes will be introduced in Nigeria, Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire.

Promoting entrepreneurship

In addition to providing apprenticeships, traineeships and training, Nestlé is developing initiatives to encourage youth entrepreneurship across Africa, particularly among women.

For example, the ‘My Own Business’ street-vending programme and ‘pushcart’ initiative give thousands of people across Africa and Asia the tools and expertise they need to run successful small businesses. In 2015, more than 4,500 operators and vendors took part in both programmes in CWAR.

The company also fully supports youth training and opened the Technical Training Centre at our Agbara factory in Nigeria in 2011 to educate young people in technical training. In 2015, 26 students completed the training, 21 of whom took up employment at Nestlé Nigeria. This year, a similar centre will open at Nestlé’s Yopougon factory in Côte d’Ivoire.

Global Youth Initiative

Nestlé’s commitment to youth in Africa, Asia and Oceania is part of the Nestlé Needs YOUth initiative, which was extended globally in 2015 to help young people across the world develop skills and get hired.

The company first launched the initiative in Europe in 2013, offering 10,000 job opportunities and 10,000 traineeships or apprenticeships across the continent by the end of this year to help tackle high youth unemployment. Nestlé also rolled it out in the Americas; supported the first Pacific Alliance Youth Summit in Lima to promote youth employment in Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico; and founded Alliance for YOUth in 2014. This alliance of around 200 leading companies in Europe helped more than 50,000 young people find jobs or training opportunities in its first year, and is now expanding globally.

You can watch the Creating Shared Value Forum live, and join the conversation on Twitter: @NestleCWAR and @nNestleCWAR_FR, #CSVForum