Supporting young people to thrive in the digital economy of our highest priorities.
We believe that there is a need for training for young people to enable them to be ready for a digital society. Vodafone is committed to doing our part to support digital learning and digital skills for youth.
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.
Recently, as part of Vodafone’s commitment to support society during the COVID-19 crisis, we made a new range of online educational and training support available to customers and employees for free. This included online e-learning courses from Udemy and extended access to Perlego’s online library of academic text books and publications.
Our 2022 goal
of 18–24 year olds believe they have received insufficient careers advice for the digital economy
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 skills 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 Europe.
While many young people, particularly millennials, are ‘digital natives’, with an almost instinctive mastery of digital content and social media, most do not have the expertise required in many digital businesses today, including the ability to write code, mitigate cybersecurity risks or design, configure and maintain electronic devices and wireless or fixed-line networks.
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 work. The results reveal the extent to which young people believe they are ill-equipped to participate in the digital economy:
believed the greatest struggle for their generation will be finding any kind of well-paid, permanent job
had received insufficient careers advice
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.
Last year, we launched a free smartphone-based platform called Future Jobs Finder, designed to inspire and help young people understand their strengths and skills and find the right job opportunity in the digital economy.
Supporting education and building skills
Through our local operating companies and Foundations, Vodafone has also launched a number of programmes that help young adults develop their skills, including digital ones, and support the development of young entrepreneurs. The following provides some examples of the programmes we have around the world.
Through its Campus Lab initiative, Vodafone Spain has developed an online innovation platform where young people from different disciplines can work together to solve different challenges. The winners receive a €20,000 prize alongside mentoring to develop their idea.
Our contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunuties for all.
Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
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.
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.
Learn more about Inclusion
Challenging the ‘mobile gender gap’ of approximately 200 million women deprived of the benefits of mobile ownership.
We seek to be a company whose global workforce reflects the customers we serve and the broader societies within which we operate.
Download our Annual Report 2020
which provides detail on our sustainable business strategy, approach, focus areas and progress