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Upskilling young people is essential to the future

Unilever partners with UNICEF in support of Generation Unlimited to provide over 1 million young people in India and Brazil with the skills they need for employment.

Imagine if all young people growing up around the world entered the workplace with the right skills. The potential for their personal development – and global progress – would be unlimited.

From raising productivity and reducing inequality to creating businesses and improving communities, there’s no end to the benefits their talents and ideas could bring.

The right to an education is enshrined in Article 28 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Through education, young people can acquire the skills they need in order to actively engage with opportunities and truly fulfil their potential.

Extraordinary challenges

However, young people today face extraordinary economic, social and cultural challenges and need a wide variety of skills to thrive in work and life, including basic literacy and numeracy, digital and interpersonal skills.

According to a new report (Opens in a new window) by the Education Commission and UNICEF, three-quarters of young people aged between 15 and 24 are off-track to gain the skills needed for employment. Furthermore, one in three young women are not learning, training or working.

Supporting Generation Unlimited

One way Unilever is helping to address these challenges is through a collaboration with UNICEF’s Generation Unlimited (Opens in a new window), a global multi-sector partnership created to meet the urgent need for expanded education, training and employment opportunities for young people on an unprecedented scale.

Close-up of two young women at an outdoor event

© UNICEF/Vishwanathan

Empowering volunteers

Our Dirt is Good brand is helping Generation Unlimited expand the Global Volunteering Initiative (Opens in a new window), which currently empowers 12.5 million volunteers in 40 countries to be a force for good within their communities.

Our partnership aims to help over 1 million young people in India and Brazil to take action and build the valuable and transferable soft skills that they will need to thrive in a complex and uncertain world.

Equipping 10 million young people with the essential skills needed for work opportunities by 2030

As part of Unilever’s Compass priorities and commitment to youth skills development, we have committed to helping 10 million young people aged between 15 and 24 years to gain the employment skills that will help them find meaningful work opportunities and prepare for the future of work. Our work with Generation Unlimited is one of the many ways we are working to achieve this aim.

Empowering girls through education

Unilever and Generation Unlimited are also partners in the UK government’s innovative Girls’ Education Skills Partnership, joining forces to boost access to education and employment for girls in developing countries. With funding from the partnership, Generation Unlimited will help expand the Passport to Earning digital skills platform that provides girls with free certified education and skills training, and links them to future employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. It will also support the Challenge Fund that aims to equip girls with the skills they need to pursue a career in STEM.

As Rebecca Marmot, Chief Sustainability Officer, says: “Youth unemployment is a global challenge that has been compounded by Covid-19 related disruption. By harnessing their desire for purposeful action and matching it with skills training and know-how, Unilever and Generation Unlimited can empower young people to become dynamic leaders and entrepreneurs who promote equality and positive change in their communities and the world.”

Generation Unlimited

Launched by the UN Secretary-General at the 2018 UN General Assembly, Generation Unlimited is a global public–private youth partnership designed to skill and connect the world’s 1.8 billion young people to opportunities for employment, entrepreneurship and social impact.

Anchored in UNICEF, the partnership brings young people together with global organisations and leaders – including heads of state, CEOs, heads of UN agencies and civil society champions – to co-create and deliver innovative solutions on a global scale.

Unilever’s collaboration with Generation Unlimited is just one example of how we’re collaborating with like-minded organisations, governments and other partners to deliver on our commitment to equip 10 million young people with essential skills that prepare them for meaningful employment opportunities by 2030.


UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, UNICEF works for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.

The UK Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK)* raises funds for UNICEF’s emergency and development work for children. It also promotes and protects children’s rights in the UK and internationally. It is a UK charity, entirely funded by supporters.

For more information visit (Opens in a new window). Follow UNICEF UK on Twitter (Opens in a new window), LinkedIn (Opens in a new window), Facebook (Opens in a new window) and YouTube (Opens in a new window).

Main image © UNICEF//Pinheiro


United Kingdom Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF UK), Registered Charity No. 1072612 (England & Wales), SC043677 (Scotland).