Global partnership for youth employability

The partnership empowers young people who lost or are at risk of losing parental care by supporting their transition to independence and decent work. In 2020, it reached 6,500 young people in 37 countries around the world.

Facts and Figures Report 2020

267 million young people worldwide are not in employment, education or training, according to a recent report by the International Labour Organization. Young people leaving alternative care are disproportionately affected by the global youth employment crisis, because they have fewer opportunities to get training even as they are required to be financially independent at an earlier age than their peers growing up with their parents. 

As a response to this challenge, YouthCan! - the global partnership for youth employability - was launched in 2017 by SOS Children’s Villages and partners from the private sector to promote decent work for young people who lost or are at risk of losing parental care.   

YouthCan! Facts and Figures 2020


The YouthCan! programme has reached 6,500 young people in 37 countries.

Read the report


In this joint effort,  employees from our corporate partners share their time, skills, expertise and own career stories, both online and offline. These volunteers plan workshops, facilitate exposure to professional environments and act as professional mentors. Employees and young people can connect face to face or through the digital platform YouthLinks, which enables worldwide collaborative learning through online mentoring.

YouthCan! combines mentoring, first work experience, and soft and technical skills trainings within one comprehensive approach. The programme is locally-led, tailored to the local labour market and to the needs of each young person. 

In 2020, 6,500 young people across 37 countries received holistic support through YouthCan!, a 14% increase in the number of participants from the previous year. The increase was made possible through the commitment and engagement of 1,473 volunteers from 232 partners worldwide, and due to the focus on developing online activities. Moving from a mostly face-to-face employability programme to one that was largely online, ensured young people had continued access to training, mentoring, and personal and professional networks during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The 2020 results demonstrate that YouthCan! provides crucial support to one of the most at-risk groups across the globe and is the right type of investment for young people, society and generations to come.



Background of young people

Background of young people

YouthCan! builds on the expertise of partners and provides individualised, holistic support to help prepare young people for the job market.

The global partnership for youth employability, launched in 2017, has six global and more than 232 national corporate partnerships.

The ambitions of our young people have inspired multinational, national and local businesses, as well as governmental institutions, training providers and other supporters to come together for young people, thus helping to reach the Sustainable Development Goal 17 - on partnerships to achieve the goals.


At the end of 2020, we decided to validate the success of YouthCan! by commissioning an independent evaluation of its outcomes in four countries: Madagascar, Nigeria, Costa Rica and Brazil. The executive summary report offers an overview of the main findings of the midterm evaluation of the YouthCan! programme, which was conducted by the Action Research for CO-development (ARCO) research centre.




The digital platform YouthLinks allows us to leverage the power of technology to expand and ensure that young people have continued access to training and mentoring resources, as well as personal and professional networks. YouthLinks provides an opportunity for young people and mentors to connect more easily, share materials, create networks and support each other, thus breaking geographical and time barriers.



A global network and a local response

Partnering for impact


Working with our corporate and support partners, we aim to increase our impact on the lives of children, young people and communities, thus actively contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals.
As part of the YouthCan! network, corporate partners match local talent with corporate needs, generating business value and strengthening their reputation and brand among customers and employees.


There are many ways you can support YouthCan! at the local, national or international level.

Contact us for more information:

Network of global YouthCan! partners