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What will you be?

The world’s biggest digital skills and jobs initiative for young people

Vodafone Group

More than 71 million young people are unemployed around the world yet thousands of digital jobs are unfilled every year. Vodafone Group is one of the world’s leading telecommunications companies, with operations and partnerships stretching over 150 countries. Youth unemployment in Italy, Spain and Greece - three countries in which it operates - stands at 38 per cent, 39 per cent and 47 per cent respectively. 


In March 2018, Vodafone launched a ground breaking jobs initiative, What will you be?, to provide digital careers guidance and training to as many as ten million young people across 18 countries while doubling its work opportunities for under-25s, with a target to reach 100,000 young people across 26 countries by 2022 - this represents Vodafone’s largest commitment to train and develop young people since the business launched.


Prior to launching the youth initiative - the largest of its kind in the world - Vodafone surveyed 6,000 young people, aged between 18 and 24, across 15 countries to better understand their attitudes to the digital economy. Almost seven in ten - 67 per cent - received insufficient or no careers advice, while 23 per cent worry they do not have the skills for any job. The greatest worry for 56 per cent is just to find a well-paid, permanent role.


The insights provided by the survey shaped the questions for Vodafone’s new free Future Jobs Finder, a psychometric tool that offered users a better understanding of the skills they possessed and suitable, digital-focused roles in their locations. The tool, which was developed in association with occupational psychologists, includes five modules to test users’ skills and takes four minutes to complete. Users answer each question by tapping one of three emoticons - a smiling face, sad face or neutral face. On completion, they receive a summary of their skills which can be used in curriculum vitae or job applications.


The initiative was launched at Gig Economy, an event in Brussels, to which media from five countries were invited alongside youth bloggers and influencers and international policy makers and opinion formers, such as Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, and Susana Puerto-Gonzalez, senior youth employment specialist at the International Labour Organisation. They discussed the findings from the survey as well as ways to equip young people with digital skills for jobs for the future. The event generated 629 Tier one media articles in 24 countries, including the 18 markets in which the initiative had been launched, plus 557 unique social media posts.


To promote the initiative, Vodafone created one global film plus 17 short, shareable, localised films featuring thousands of young people and a series of infographics, which were used across multiple channels in 17 participating countries. 


Almost 202,000 young people completed the first test on the psychometric tool, and more than one million digital jobs were recommended. ‘This was an ambitious campaign on a huge scale,’ said the judges. ‘Vodafone used its corporate size to major effect and we were impressed. It got good results, and felt substantial to a laudable end.’