Global partnership for youth employability

The partnership empowers young people without parental care or at risk of losing it by supporting their transition to independence and decent work. In 2021, it reached 14,485 young people in 42 countries around the world.

Facts and Figures Report 2021

267 million young people worldwide are neither in employment, education nor 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 five global partners from the private sector to promote decent work for young people without parental care or at risk of losing it.   

Background of young people

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, soft and technical skills trainings and first work experiences into one comprehensive approach. The programme is locally-led, tailored to the local labour market and to the needs of each young person. 

This year, 14,485  young people across 42 countries received holistic support through YouthCan!. This was made possible through the commitment and engagement of 1,846 volunteers from 289 partners worldwide and a focus on the development of 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 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.


YouthCan! Facts and Figures 2021

The 2021 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. 

Read the report


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



At the end of 2020, we decided to validate the success of YouthCan! by commissioning an independent evaluation of its outcomes in four countries. 

Executive Summary