Addressing youth unemployment: Online mentors boosting job opportunity
More than 70 million young people worldwide are seeking work. In 2017, our partner SOS Children's Villages launched the YouthCan! Initiative to give young adults access to training, mentoring and professional development opportunities. One year later, YouthLinks started to give young adults the possibility to connect with online mentors from the business world. For students of the SOS Children's Villages this is particularly rewarding. Without parental care and the support that goes with it, it is often more difficult to make the transition from school into the working world.
Online mentoring offers the opportunity for young people without parental care to receive support in their job orientation and career planning. YouthLinks connects young people between the ages of 16 and 25 from SOS Children's Villages worldwide with mentors from the business world, thus overcoming social and geographical barriers. In five sessions, particularly career-relevant topics are dealt with, including strengths and weaknesses, job interviews and communication in the work environment. The sessions take place in our virtual classroom, which includes specific eLearning content and is always supported by our service team. Currently, young people from Colombia, Peru, Nigeria and South Africa as well as corporate volunteers from more than 10 different countries are actively participating in the program.
From registration to sending out the completion certificate, our platform enables us to keep track of progress and performance, including detailed reporting on mentoring hours, session ratings, overall mentoring experience and skill development. The evaluations we carried out to measure the impact of the program prove the positive effects of online mentoring: it has been shown that young people have not only been able to develop their skills in the area of job application, but their self-esteem has also increased. Moreover, 90% indicated that they would recommend YouthLinks to future participants. But it is not only the mentees who benefit from the program. By doing good, the mentors increased their social and digital skills- 80% of which stated that their job satisfaction increased as a result of their corporate volunteering experience. In this sense, we would like to thank all participants for making our online mentoring format so successful.