Youth employability – March 29 2019

Bringing colour to young people’s living spaces and future

In the second year of our partnership with AkzoNobel, a leading global paints and coatings company, we expanded to ten countries in total. Across Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe, hundreds of AkzoNobel employees volunteered their time to strengthen young people’s employability skills and renovate SOS living spaces.

Almost 1,000 young people were engaged in the employability activities. One of these young people is Thales Thierry Maravelli Brito from Brazil, who, after graduating the painter and professional skills trainings offered by Coral, the paint brand of AkzoNobel, is now working as a professional house painter.

After his participation in the training, Thales said: “I acquired a lot of knowledge in this course that I didn’t have. The training taught me to grow in all aspects of life, not only on the professional side.”

The programme, which runs under AkzoNobel’s Let’s Colour programme, was initially launched in 2017 in four countries: Brazil, Nigeria, Indonesia and South Africa. After a successful first year of working together, 2018 saw the programme broaden to include Argentina, Belgium, China, Pakistan, Russia and India.

While youth employability is a global challenge, with 64 million young people unemployed worldwide, local solutions are needed that are tailored to the needs of individual young people and the labour market in a specific country. To ensure that the programmes recognise the context of each country, all activities in this partnership with AkzoNobel are locally developed and managed. 

This leads to a great diversity in the activities on offer, from painter and professional training like the one attended by Thales in Brazil, to orientation on different job profiles in Pakistan, or goal setting and personal development sessions in Russia. These activities provide the skills and qualifications for employment, and just as importantly, they help support young people’s self-confidence and motivation for finding a decent job and taking responsibility for their own future.   

With almost 3,000 litres of paint donated and many facilities at SOS Children’s Villages renovated, the partnership is also taking important steps towards improving the living spaces for children and young people. Renovation projects realised with the support of employees and the recently trained young people improved  the lives of over 2,500 people in the ten participating countries.

2019 looks set to be another exciting year for the partnership. Building upon the successes so far, an additional four countries are planned to join: Greece, Morocco, Poland and Sri Lanka.

We invite you to watch here an example of our work together in 2018 in Russia and to follow our partnership via the hashtags #YouthCan #LetsColour #AkzoNobelCares.

Photo: AkzoNobel.


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