The collaboration seeks to upskill and enhance job opportunities for underprivileged youth
New Delhi, 7 December 2020: PwC India today announced the launch of a strategic collaboration with UNICEF and YuWaah (Generation Unlimited in India) to help bridge the digital gap and help upskill 300 million young people in India over the next 10 years and enable them to emerge as changemakers in society. Mr. Kiren Rijiju, Honourable Minister of State (IC), Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, and Ms. Usha Sharma, Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, were present during the launch. This announcement is part of PwC’s global collaboration with UNICEF in support of Generation Unlimited; a multi-sector partnership aimed at helping 1.8 billion young people transition from school to work by 2030.
At the global level, the collaboration is focused on upskilling millions of young people around the world, including youth who lack opportunities to participate in the digital world. The collaboration in India brings together PwC, UNICEF and YuWaah’s complementary strengths and represents a significant milestone for PwC’s global programme, New world. New skills, which is driven by the need for everyone to upskill so they can thrive in the digital world.
As per UNICEF data highlighted in a recent publication co-authored with PwC, “Stepping forward: Connecting today’s youth to the digital future”, of the 1.2 billion young people in the world today, around 463 million were unable to access remote learning when schools closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, one in six young people have stopped working since the beginning of the outbreak. Young people, especially young women and girls, who do not have reliable access to the internet, technology or devices, and those who lack digital skills and acumen have been hit particularly hard.
Addressing the collaboration, Dr. Yasmin Ali Haque, UNICEF Representative in India, said, “Our collaboration with PwC was informed by what we could see as a key need – the need to listen to young people and ensure they have access to credible information on their choices to fulfill their aspirations. We believe the need is to co-create these solutions with young people. They not only understand the challenges but also have the creativity and resilience to bring innovative solutions to the fore. The potential of what young people can do, and what we can achieve with them is at the center of this collaboration.”
Speaking of the collaboration, Neel Ratan, Regional Managing Partner, PwC India said, “While at one level, the pandemic has added momentum to India’s digital story, it has also revealed the glaring digital disconnect that India has to navigate at her grassroots for a major share of its population; its young people. Digital enablement of the young people needs a whole-of-society approach – with Government, Enterprises and Citizens coming together with collective wisdom around a shared vision. It requires concerted efforts from each of the stakeholder cohort, to achieve this common objective of making digital accessible, affordable and inclusive for its young people.”
The programme will act as a catalyst by working with a range of stakeholders, both public and private, on a youth engagement platform aimed at creating a wider impact and equitable opportunities for young people through enhanced employability and earnings potential. It will also provide them with pathways to emerge as active changemakers in society.
PwC India will be providing broad support for this programme across three pillars: Economic Opportunities and Employability, 21st Century Skilling and Learning, and Youth Engagement. Instead of focusing on specific sectors, the programme aims to improve young people’s multi-literacy, interpersonal and social skills, among others, which will prepare them to have a more rounded development for a better future.
The emphasis of the programme will be on gradually increasing its coverage across a wider population so that the most vulnerable and disadvantaged sections can avail of these opportunities. Dhuwarakha Sriram, Chief of Adolescent Programming and Generation Unlimited (YuWaah) in India said, “Responding to aspirations of young people through collaborations with various stakeholders like Government, private sector, civil society, academia is the core of our mandate. The platform we are working to create with PwC will enable young people to voice their aspirations, challenges and also help them access solutions and information that is critical to them.”
According to the Ministry of Statistics and Program implementation, Government of India estimates, youth constitute around 34 per cent of the total population of India, translating to around 450 million youth.
Speaking about the collaboration, Tanya Elizabeth Ken, youth entrepreneur and a member of the YuWaah Young People’s Action Team said, “Edtech is not about delivering education using technology, it’s about leveraging technology to fight poverty. Tapping into a network of diverse, cross industry stakeholders is essential for bridging inequalities in education and employment. Public sector stakeholders can provide resource support and private stakeholders can provide career guidance and opportunities that marginalised youth would otherwise be excluded from. I look forward to the diversity of resources and opportunities that this collaboration will make accessible to youth around the country.”
For more information:
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UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. More than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF India and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/india
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About Generation Unlimited
Generation Unlimited – currently hosted by UNICEF – is a global partnership working to prepare young people to become productive and engaged citizens. It connects secondary-age education and training to employment and entrepreneurship, empowering every young person to thrive in the world of work. Follow Generation Unlimited on Twitter and Instagram
YuWaah is a multi-stakeholder platform that aims to prepare young people to transition from education and learning to productive work and active citizenship. It was formed by UNICEF, together with public and private sector partners, UN Agencies, civil society organisations, foundations and young people as the Generation Unlimited (GenU) partnership in India. By 2030, in India YuWaah aims to:
Launched in 2019 by the Honourable Minister for Women and Children’s Development, Smriti Irani, YuWaah also received strong words of encouragement from the Honourable Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi in the form of a letter of support. Follow YuWaah on Facebook and Twitter. For more information, visit www.yuwaah.org
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In October 2019, PwC launched ‘New world. New skills.’ – its first global, purpose-led programme aimed at upskilling its people, working with clients on their upskilling strategies, scaling and refocusing its corporate social responsibility activities, and contributing to the debate about the issue. Watch ‘Bridging the Digital Divide’, a short documentary in which academics, NGOs, policymakers and business leaders explain why upskilling for a digital world has become a priority for society, organizations and governments.
In 2018, PwC launched its community ambition to maximize the potential of 15 million people, NGOs and social and micro enterprises by 2022.
Chief Communication Officer, PwC India
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