About the Project

This project is one of the 2018 WISE Awards winners. 

Generation is a youth unemployment organization active in 83 cities and eight countries. Operating with more than 2,300 employer partners, Generation empowers young people to build thriving and sustainable careers while providing employers with the highly skilled talent they need. The Generation program trains youth in profession-specific skills places them in jobs and monitors their performance. It also provides the trainees with social support such as mentorship or alumni programs and monitors participants’ well-being and quality outcomes after their recruitment.

Context and Issue

More than 75 million youth are unemployed and many more underemployed. Yet, 40% of employers say they cannot find the talent they need for entry-level roles. Many workforce programs seek to bridge this divide, but face challenges in achieving high learner employment and job retention outcomes while simultaneously delivering a program that is global, scalable, and cost-effective.

Solution and Impact

Generation is a youth employment organization operating in 83 cities. We are doubling the number of countries in which we have programs – from our original five to over ten by the end of 2018. We are currently active in seven countries – Hong Kong, Italy, India, Kenya, Mexico, Singapore, Spain, US and we have four countries in pre-launch – Brazil, France, Pakistan, and the UK. Our mission is twofold: to empower young people to build thriving, sustainable careers and to provide employers the highly skilled, motivated talent they need.

Generation trains youth in profession-specific skills, places them in jobs, and monitors their performance thereafter. Employment programs are often synonymous with training alone. Generation takes a holistic approach whereby we:

  1. Pre-confirm employer job vacancies.
  2. Recruit learners based on intrinsic and commitment.
  3. Conduct 4-12 week activity-based “bootcamps”, integrating technical, behavioral, and mindset skills.
  4. Provide social supports (e.g., transportation, mentorship).
  5. Offer ongoing support to our alumni.
  6. Track returns, including participant well-being and employer productivity and quality outcomes.

Training alone has never been enough to create opportunity—Generation has always provided a holistic solution. The approach has seven steps, including 1) pre-confirmed job vacancies, 2) learner recruitment based on intrinsics, effort, and profession requirements, 3) activity-based training that integrates technical, behavioral, mindset skills, with social support services provided in parallel, 4) interviews with employers for immediate job placement, 5) direct mentorship and a strong alumni community, 6) return on investment tracking over time, and 7) a data-centered approach throughout.

Generation has over 21,000 graduates, with over 84% of graduates in jobs, 70% still employed one year later, and graduates’ income 2-6 times higher than before the program. We work with 2,300+ employer partners, and ~85% of employers say Generation graduates outperform their peers.

Future Developments

Generation embeds its approach in local institutions, with the ultimate aim of being self-financing through government and employer contributions. Generation launched three and a half years ago offering programs in 23 professions across four sectors. Generation seeks to expand to new geographies, support older learner profiles, offer a 40-60% online program, and conduct workplace-based interventions.

May 26, 2018 (last update 02-20-2021)