In June this year Nestlé voiced concerns over the rising level of youth unemployment across Europe and pledged to take action. Today it has pledged to create 20,000 positions for under 30 year olds in the region over three years.
Laurent Freixe, Nestlé executive vice-president and zone director for Europe launched th initiative in Athens where more than half of under 25s are out of work.
In the UK, around 1 million 16-25 year olds are unemployed, while Ireland has a 30% youth unemployment rate.
Richard Martin, chief engineer at Nestlé UK & Ireland spoke told The Manufacturer magazine last night at the Food and Drink Federation Awards that Nestlé was concerned the escalating numbers of unemployed youth were reaching levels which could trigger social unrest.
Fiona Kendrick, CEO of Nestlé UK and Ireland and a Commissioner for the UK Commission for Employment and Skills added: “Industry must step up and help young people bridge the gap between education and employment. We cannot leave this problem to the Government and schools. We need to work together to help young people – and to develop the next generation of skilled employees for the future.”
The food manufacturer’s plan of action on European youth unemployment includes a commitment to create 10,000 jobs for under 30s and 10,000 apprenticeships and traineeships.
Speaking at the YOUth initiative launch Mr Freixe said: “Think of the impact on our society if these young people are left on the margins, without income, without a future, without hope. As we continue to grow and invest in Europe, we want to do all we can to strengthen and develop their skills, and improve their employability, regardless of their level of education.”
The 20,000 positions will be split across Nestlé’s European sites. In the next three years it will hire:
- 3,000 young people in France
- 2,420 in Germany
- 1,250 in Spain
- 1,080 in Italy
- 1,900 in the UK and Ireland
The positions will be created across all Nestlé’s product categories and will span manufacturing, administration, human resources, sales, marketing, finance, engineering and R&D.
Nestlé hopes that other companies will follow its lead and become more ambitious and proactive in tackling youth unemployment.
To view Nestlé’s YouTube video about its YOUth campaign go to: www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOP_LzgQx8I