Generation Case Study

The organisation identifies professions with high demand for entry-level jobs and puts 18-29 year olds through intensive "boot camps" to train them for the critical skills.

Generation has created a new way to build skills and job readiness among 18-29 year olds. It identifies professions with high demand for entry-level jobs and puts students through intensive “boot camps” covering technical and behavioural skills matched to those industries and providing regular feedback and mentoring.

When her brother died, Gaby not only lost a beloved sibling but her career prospects too. The 27-year-old from Mexico City had been hoping to study, but without her brother’s financial support she had no choice but to take a low-paid cleaning job. On just 100 pesos a day, she struggled to care for her family.

But Gaby’s life changed when she went through a training programme run by youth employment organisation Generation. Equipped with new skills in customer service, she secured an entry-level job at a major retailer, one that paid well and allowed her to spend more time with her young daughter. After just two months, she was promoted to supervisor.1

Gaby’s struggle is common. More than 73 million youth are unemployed around the world,2  and almost three times as many underemployed.3 The problem is likely to get worse, leading to problems including economic underperformance, social unrest and individual despair. According to Gallup research across more than 130 countries, people today want a good job above anything else – even above freedom.4

Generation has set out to create a new way to build skills and job readiness among 18-29 year olds.5 It identifies professions with high demand for entry-level jobs and puts students through intensive “boot camps” covering technical and behavioural skills matched to those industries6 and providing regular feedback and mentoring.7 Crucially, it engages employers directly from the outset, securing commitments to provide graduates of the programme with jobs on completion.8

Launched just two years ago, Generation – run by the non-profit group McKinsey Social Initiative – is already one of the world’s largest demand-driven youth employment organisations, with programmes across 15 professions9 in five countries.10 By the end of 2016, it will have trained more than 10,000 young men and women and significantly boosted their chances of securing a decent living:11 Generation has a 91% job placement rate and graduates can expect to increase their incomes by two to six times immediately.12

The 400+ employers involved have been impressed too: 83% say Generation graduates outperform their peers,13 and 98% that they would hire from the initiative again.14 This is despite operating costs 20-50% lower than comparable programmes, Generation says.15 It currently relies on donors, including McKinsey & Company and Walmart.16 But the programme plans to be self-financing by 2018 through fees charged to employers, students and governments convinced of the merits to its approach.17 That could make it unstoppable. By 2020, Generation aims to reach 1 million young people, and to have fine-tuned a model that can be used to reach tens of millions more.18

References

1 See https://www.generationinitiative.org/video/generation-stories-from-around-the-world/.

2 ILO. (2015) “Global Employment Trends for Youth 2015”. http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/---dgreports/---dcomm/---publ/documents/publication/wcms_412015.pdfhttp://www.un.org/youthenvoy/employment/.

3 See http://www.mckinsey.com/about-us/new-at-mckinsey-blog/generation-update-connecting-graduates-with-jobs-on-three-continents 

4 Robinson, J. (2012) “The All-Out War for Good Jobs: A Q&A with Jim Clifton”. Gallup Business Journal, 14 February. http://www.gallup.com/businessjournal/151856/war-good-jobs.aspx

5 Generation Initiative. “About”. https://www.generationinitiative.org/about/. 

6 McKinsey & Company. “Generation”. http://www.mckinsey.com/about-us/social-impact/generation

7 Generation Initiative. “About”. https://www.generationinitiative.org/about/.

8 McKinsey & Company. “Generation”. http://www.mckinsey.com/about-us/social-impact/generation

9 From internal company records.

10 See https://www.generationinitiative.org.

11 “June 2016 Update”. https://www.generationinitiative.org/newsletter/june2016/.

12 See https://www.generationinitiative.org 

13 From internal company records.

14 See https://www.generationinitiative.org/employers/.

15 From internal company records.

16 See https://www.generationinitiative.org/about/.

17 Email from company.

18 Generation Initiative. “About”. https://www.generationinitiative.org/about/.