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UNICEF's corporate partnerships


© UNICEF/India/Pooja Nayak

Set up in 2008, Building Young Futures is an award-winning partnership between Barclays and UNICEF. Our shared goal is to help tackle youth unemployment by enabling disadvantaged young people, between the ages of 15 and 25, to develop the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to set up their own small business or find a job.

Barclays recently extended the partnership for three years, investing a further £5m. Between 2012 and 2015 the partnership aims to directly benefit 74,000 young people across six countries: Brazil, Egypt, India, Pakistan, Uganda and Zambia.

Barclays also contributes financial and business expertise and the engagement of its employees’ knowledge, time and skills. This, combined with the development experience of UNICEF, has allowed the partnership to bring real and lasting change to the lives and livelihoods of some of the world’s most vulnerable young people.

Youth Unemployment

Worldwide, almost 290 million young people are not working – almost a quarter of the planet’s youth. To address this, Building Young Futures works in communities of high unemployment to provide in-depth training, mentoring and access to work placements that give young people the skills they need to make a living.

In each country, Barclays and UNICEF work closely to ensure that the programme is tailored to respond to local needs and opportunities.

We work closely with government to ensure long-term impact. By combining the expertise of Barclays’ employees and the experience of UNICEF, we are transforming the prospects of vulnerable young people.

For instance, in Uganda young people are given access to technology at rural youth centres to learn business and money management skills and gain the experience needed to set up small income-generating enterprises. In India, young women in the slums of Mumbai and isolated rural villages are learning to build co-operative businesses, manage their money and share their learning with other young women in their communities. In Brazil, we connect young people from vulnerable communities in São Paolo with the world of work by training them in vital skills such as CV writing and interviewing, creating personal development plans and matching them to employment.

About Barclays

Barclays is a major global financial services provider with an extensive international presence in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Asia. Barclays operates in over 50 countries and employs approximately 140,000 people. Barclays’ purpose is to help people achieve their ambitions – in the right way.

Over 68,000 Barclays employees around the world gave their time, skills and money to charitable causes and Barclays invested a total of £64.5m in community programmes globally in 2012, focused on building the enterprise, financial and life skills of the next generation. Employees invested 458,000 hours volunteering and raised £30m for charities through fundraising and giving initiatives. Barclays estimates that 1.2 million young people benefitted from the range of its community investment programmes.

Antony Jenkins, Barclays Group Chief Executive says: “Building Young Futures helps young people to become active participants in their local economies. Barclays’ aspiration is to be the ‘Go-To’ bank and this means being a force for good wherever we operate, committed to the enhanced prosperity of individuals, businesses and communities. This is exactly what Building Young Futures is all about.”

Thanks to this energy and passion, Barclays staff raise money for UNICEF through regular events such as Wheels for Change and other fundraising activities including night walks and Christmas card purchases.

Why is UNICEF working on this issue?

UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children and their rights. UNICEF recognises that adolescence is a pivotal time in the life of a child – the gateway to adulthood. It is a critical window of opportunity to influence a child’s development and progress. Building Young Futures addresses this, investing extensive knowledge and support to help ensure young people can mature into financially secure adults.

UNICEF recognises that learning content and processes are often not aligned with opportunities on the labour market, thus many young people who complete their education do not find employment.

Building Young Futures addresses this, delivering skills training and broader support to help young people create their own enterprise opportunities and get what jobs are available.i



i UNICEF Progress for Children Report Card on Adolescents No.10 April 2012



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