While education provides a vital foundation, it is one of many elements that help young people succeed. The most promising interventions effectively align education with skills training, as well as provide access to employment and financial resources to meet local economic development goals and labor market demand. Program and policy interventions are indispensable in improving the financial and long-term economic outlook of youth. For systemic changes to occur in this field, there is a need to promote cross-sector approaches that address the interconnected nature of education and training, economic opportunity, and financial inclusion.
In 2013, the Citi Foundation invested nearly $7 million to support Youth Economic Opportunities programs outside the U.S. With these investments, we aim to increase the number of young people, ages 13-25, who actively generate an income through quality, living-wage jobs or entrepreneurship pursuits, enabling them to contribute to the economy. Through a combination of education, livelihoods, vocational skills training, or entrepreneurship preparation, young people gain competitive skills as well as access financial and other resources that set them on the path to economic success. Further, we invest in knowledge-building activities to better understand which approaches are both cost-efficient and effective in helping young people gain well-paid jobs or secure resources to launch a viable business.
1 International Labor Organization. Global Employment Trends for Youth 2013: A Generation at Risk. Geneva, 2013.