Youth employment is top priority in Europe
In just over two years, the European Pact for Youth has helped form 23 000 business-education partnerships, creating 160 000 new opportunities for youth and impacting 5.2 million learners. These impressive results have surpassed by far the goals set out when the Pact was launched by CSR Europe in November 2015.
At the first European Business-Education Summit, co-hosted by CSR Europe and the European Commission, the participants discussed how to build on these initiatives as the Pact comes to an end. Leaders from businesses, civil society organisations and education set up 24 National Action Plans and developed three policy proposals to make business-education partnerships the new norm. These proposals were presented in a joint appeal to European leaders at the summit.
BRIDGING THE SKILLS GAP - HUAWEI'S CONTRIBUTION
Huawei’s key contribution to the European Pact for Youth is ‘Seeds for the Future’, its global CSR programme, where selected students visit the company’s headquarters in China for a two-week study trip.
Several European Seeds for the Future students travelled to Brussels to visit the European Commission, meet with MEPs at the European Parliament and take part in the 1st European Business-Education Summit.
Here is what they had to say about their experience and expectations:
“Initiatives like Seeds for the Future can benefit both students and companies in the short and long term, because I think we must cultivate digital talent and develop a digital mind set in order to create what we all want to achieve together – which is a thriving digital Europe.”
Alessandro Gattolin, Italy, addressing the summit
“I am very glad to have had the experiences Huawei provided me. Cultural business programmes are a great addition to one's education. However, there are more gaps to be filled.”
Lindsay Kempen, the Netherlands, addressing the summit
“One of the most important things I learned during the ICT training is that is does not matter if your degree is in Computer Science, Information Technology or Electrical Engineering, in ICT we all have something to contribute. After all, to create a better-connected world, we need different areas of expertise.”
Antonia Daderman, Sweden, speaking to MEPs at the European Parliament
SEEDS FOR THE FUTURE
Over 1 600 young Europeans from 32 countries have participated in Seeds for the Future since its launch in 2011. More than 2 000 will have been trained by 2020.
Soundbites from the main speakers at the summit
“As technology advances relentlessly in our lives, and phenomena such as the Internet of Things come to the fore, businesses need students to be prepared for the new jobs and opportunities the future will offer, many of which are still unknown today. Given the current mismatch between curricula and industry needs, Europe is in dire need of initiatives such as those federated by the Pact for Youth.”
Gaston Khoury, Huawei’s Western European Regional Sales Vice-President, addressing the final session
“This is much more than a promising start, it is proof that business and education are meant to cooperate. And we can achieve much more if all of us, including policymakers, drive this further with determination.”
Tibor Navracsics, European Commissioner for Education, Culture, Youth and Sport, speaking at the summit
“We hope that this Pact will further inspire and support you to engage strategically in business-education partnerships. Our ambition is clear, to better equip the youth for the future of work, by making business-education partnerships the new norm in Europe.”
Pact for Youth co-chairs Marianne Thyssen, European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs, Skills and Labour Mobility, and Etienne Davignon, President of CSR Europe, in a joint address