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Nestlé ‘Alliance for YOUth’ to tackle (youth) unemployment in Europe

by on September 26, 2014

I think this may be the first time we’ve featured an item from the Food Production Daily website but we long ago ceased to be surprised at some of the sources that appear in our alerts on age at work.

Anyway, this article on their website reports that some 200 organizations have joined together under Nestlé’s ‘Alliance for YOUth’ to tackle youth unemployment in Europe.  The focus seems to be on providing young people with advice on CVs, interview preparation as well as with opportunities for internships and work experience. Some of the companies involved are Facebook, Google and Nielsen. The programme is part of a wider initiative called ‘Nestlé Needs YOUth’ – a slogan that linguistically looks inclusive and then, on closer inspection, isn’t.

With high youth unemployment in many parts of Europe – we’ve reported many times on the EU Youth Guarantee schemes – it’s not surprising to see this sort of undertaking. What is a bit disappointing is the design of the Nielsen survey, as reported. It seems to have involved asking 2000 people aged 18-29 in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK about what they saw as the biggest problem for society in the future, who they blamed for lack of opportunities for young people and about their job prospects.

Now, I’m not sure what the purpose of the survey was – to justify a youth employment initiative? – but both the sample and the reported questions seem destined to provide these kind of headlines. More concerning is when surveys like this are used to bolster the argument in favour of addressing work issues for one age group at the expense of others. I’m sure I’ve said this before, but shouldn’t these opportunities be available to all who need them, regardless of age?

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