Bridging the youth employment gap in Europe
By Laura Brems October 28, 2014
Working to enhance the employability of Europe’s young people in the face of 25 percent youth unemployment, Cargill is a founding member of the “Alliance for YOUth,” part of the “Nestlé Needs YOUth” initiative. Nearly 200 companies have now joined the Alliance for Youth and have made commitments to support the development of work-ready skills among Europe’s young people.
As part of the Alliance, Cargill is committed to reducing youth unemployment by offering internships, apprenticeships, and skills training to young people, while sharing its best practices from its existing programs.
“Currently there are more than two million unfilled jobs in the European Union; meanwhile nearly a quarter of all young people are out of work,” said Frank Van Lierde, Cargill executive vice president in food ingredients and systems. “There is too often a mismatch between what students are learning and what employers need. We can help fill that gap.”
Debating Europe’s Youth unemployment challenge
Nonna Casas, currently an energy process engineer at Cargill in Spain, will represent Cargill during the debate ‘Youth unemployment, the European challenge,’ hosted by Nestlé in Vevey, Switzerland on September 18, 2014.
“I’m very excited to be part of the debate and make a contribution in the Alliance. The numbers speak by themselves: youth unemployment is a major social and economic issue and by being part of this initiative I can contribute to raising awareness and making a change.”
Nonna joined Cargill through the Cargill European Graduate Program, a management trainee program that has been running in Europe for 8 years. Though the focus during the program was on the technical aspects of running the Cargill facility in Martorell, she had the opportunity to experience different aspects of the work every few months. She also participated in soft skill trainings with other European trainees and was assigned a mentor to help her navigate the company culture and her responsibilities.
“The program offered the perfect transition from university to professional life; I learned how to apply my technical knowledge and skills in a real working environment, taking more responsibility step by step. And the best part was that I could share this experience with other graduates from all across Europe. It was really enriching!” said Nonna.
Nestlé, Cargill, and the entire Alliance for Youth hope that they can help more of Europe’s young people say the same.