18 Jun 2024 03:45

Advertising & Marketing

Global Youth Initiative – Nestlé Needs YOUth

At Nestlé, we believe that communities cannot thrive if they fail to offer a future for younger generations. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that two out of every five young people are either unemployed or have a job that keeps them in poverty. In the Middle East, youth unemployment rates are estimated at nearly 27 percent, higher than any other region in the world.  

As a global company, Nestlé is determined to help young people develop their skills so that they can find jobs or create their own businesses. We want to help equip the next generation for employment, to become inspiring leaders in our company – successful agripreneurs, entrepreneurs and game changers, regardless of their field or level of expertise. 

This will help build thriving, resilient communities and support the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Developing youth helps our business too, because young people are the employees who will keep our company dynamic and competitive, the farmers who will grow the crops we need, and the entrepreneurs who will help us reach new markets.

This is why, in 2017 we expanded our Nestlé needs YOUth initiative to encompass our entire value chain – from operations and supply, to agriculture and innovation. By doing so, we are supporting our ambition to help 10 million young people worldwide access economic opportunities by 2030. 

In the Middle East, where 70 percent of Nestlé’s new hires are youth, Nestlé Needs YOUth impacted more than 4700 young people in 2017 through initiatives that include:

– The Nestlé Center of Excellence, a Nestlé training academy founded in 2012 which trains university graduates in Saudi Arabia and Oman. It has so far trained 170 people, hired 42, and, since 2014, offered 200 internships and traineeships. 

– The Graduate Development Program, a three-year rotational development program that aims to recruit distinguished graduates from leading universities in the region in the fields of Marketing, Sales, Human Resources, Finance and Control, Supply Chain, and Technical. 54 of Nestlé Middle East’s 2,300 youth hired since 2010 have so far joined the program. 

– Career advising, implemented by working with universities across the region to offer expert advice to students in the areas of readiness for work, employability, business and corporate environment, and leadership. These impacted 4,700 people in 2017 through 50 events held in 10 countries across the region. 

The region’s Alliance for Youth, launched in May 2016 to bring together entities that share the objective of tackling the Middle East’s unemployment rate, now includes 13 partners and is also well on its way to collectively hiring 3,000 young people and impacting 50,000 by 2020. 

Over the last decade we’ve helped prepare hundreds of thousands of young people for work, trained and supported 4 million farmers and helped 2 million women develop business skills, but we’re determined to do more.

Working towards our 2030 ambition, we’re focusing on three key areas: 

• Employment and employability

• Agripreneurship

• Entrepreneurship

Employment and employability

By providing apprenticeships and training opportunities, and hiring young people – like Pieter-Jan in Belgium – we are helping to equip them with the skills they need to thrive in tomorrow’s workplace.

By 2020 we’ve committed to:

• Offering 45,000 to 50,000 apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities worldwide

• Providing 20,000 to 25,000 job opportunities for young people under 30 every year

• Organising ‘readiness for work’ events for young people across the world

• Collaborating more closely with external partners, to motivate them to join us and increase the impact of our initiative


With less than 5% of farmers worldwide under 35, jobs in agriculture are attracting fewer young people at a time when the world’s population is rapidly growing. We’re helping to inspire, train and enable the next generation of ‘agripreneurs’ – to give them the knowledge, skills and entrepreneurial spirit they need to manage farms in the 21st century.

In 2012, we started the Nestlé agripreneurship programme, to help young agripreneurs like Shaukat in Pakistan develop their skills through ‘Farmer Connect’. Through this programme we source agricultural materials directly from around 685,000 farmers. 

We’re also crowdsourcing great ideas to help young farmers thrive, through channels like our open innovation platform HENRi@Nestlé


Entrepreneurs are not only the innovators who will help us find solutions to the business challenges of the future, they will also help us to reach new markets and consumers sustainably.

We’re identifying and nurturing business talent in young people like Wasiu Adeyeye in Central West Africa, through initiatives such as Nescafé’s ‘My Own Business’, or the Social Investment Accelerator that we recently launched with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation – to help young social entrepreneurs gain access to finance. 

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