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Education 13 Mar 2019

"Education is one of society's greatest sources of opportunity”

According to the World Economic Forum, 65 percent of children who enroll in primary school today will have jobs that don’t currently exist. This is why on January 25, twenty large corporations announced their commitment to team up through 2022 with the goal of helping young people develop the skills that will make them more employable.  BBVA is among the companies that have signed up to this cause, committing to reach 500,000 young people with its various training programs. The initiative is the Global Alliance for YOUth. Lidia del Pozo, BBVA’s Director of Community Investment Programs, delves into some of the key aspects of this initiative.

Question: How did BBVA’s participation in the Global Alliance come about?

Answer: Supporting education has been a part of BBVA’s corporate responsibility strategy since 2006.  Recognizing the significant role BBVA plays in education, Nestlé, the founder of the Alliance for YOUth, approached the bank in 2017. They shared with us their ambitious project: to connect young people with large corporations with experience in education and a footprint in more than one continent, helping them become more employable through training, internships, and recruitment.  BBVA began its involvement with the Alliance in its Pacific region chapter, and we didn’t hesitate to join the global alliance when Nestlé asked us last July

Q: What does it mean to BBVA?

A: We believe education is one of society’s greatest sources of opportunity, and we agree that the highly trained young people of today encounter a difficult job market, simply because there is a significant gap between the training they receive and what employers need. What is concerning is that this gap continues to widen. We think the alliance is a good start, not only to address the current challenges in the job market, but also to prepare young people for the job market of the future.

Q: How is BBVA involved?

A: The bank’s participation in the Global Alliance during this first phase has consisted of mapping all the bank’s programs and initiatives that are related to the employment of young people. This isn’t limited to the internships and job opportunities that we offer young people. We are also talking about all the training programs where BBVA develops what we c

all “skills for the twenty-first century.”  This includes programs like Learning Together, entrepreneurial programs for young people like BBVA Entrepreneur School, which we launched in Colombia, university scholarships, and training opportunities developed by BBVA covering topics topics such as big data or agile methodology techniques.

Q: The numbers for the Global Alliance for YOUth are impressive...

A: The Global Alliance has 20 corporate members who operate in more than one continent. The Alliance has committed to helping 6 million young people (under 30 years old) between 2016 and 2022 to develop the skills that will make them more attractive job applicants. BBVA’s share of the commitment is to help 500,000 young people with its training programs and other initiatives. Between 2016 and 2018 alone, BBVA has already reached more than 100,000 young people.

Lidia del Pozo, BBVA’s Director of Community Investment Programs

Q: What impact does the initiative have?

A: The Alliance was conceived to address one of the biggest challenges of the actual job market; we are convinced that it will enable companies to develop the talent – the human capital – that is needed. The Alliance focuses on three areas:

  1. Providing young people with the knowledge and skills needed to work in the twenty-first century through practical learning experiences.
  2. Supporting the development of and promoting programs that help young people make the successful transition from training to employment.
  3. Promoting an entrepreneurial mindset, providing greater recognition and support for young entrepreneurs.

Q: In your opinion, what is the current employment landscape like?

A: According to the International Labor Organization, in 2016 more than 71 million young people around the world were unemployed and more than 500 million were underemployed or in unstable jobs. Furthermore, 40 million young people join the workforce each year. In many cases, traditional education no longer prepares them for the workplace of the future. According to the World Economic Forum, 65 percent of children who enroll in primary school today will have jobs that don’t currently exist. In an employment landscape that is evolving so rapidly, the ability to foresee and prepare for the skills that will be needed in the future is increasingly important for companies, governments, and individuals alike.

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