Youth employability

More than 70 million young people worldwide are unemployed. Many more do not earn enough to build stable, independent lives. Finding decent work and meaningful employment is a particularly daunting challenge for those who cannot count on the networks, resources and guidance of their families. In many countries, young people without parental care face social and economic exclusion and have limited opportunities to access the labour market and embark on their careers. SOS Children’s Villages operates vocational training centres that provide young people with the skills and confidence to build fulfilling careers and independent lives.
Poor educational attainment, together with a lack of social support networks, parental encouragement and career guidance can act as barriers to independent living for young people who have grown up without the benefit of a stable family environment. Often their education fails to meet labour market demands, they lack experience, and do not have the personal contacts required to take their first steps into formal employment.

To address this, SOS Children’s Villages provides young people with the skills training and career development they need to achieve independence and have the chance to break out of poverty. This in turn improves the life chances of future generations of children. 
We run 48 vocational training centres around the world, employing specialist teachers to train young people in skills that are in demand in their local job market. We ensure our centres can provide young people with the relevant qualifications and work experience they need to compete for employment. Our centres are available to any young person in the community who needs our help fulfilling their potential, not only those who are under our care, so the entire community can benefit from the economic impact of lower unemployment and increased income generation.
We empower young people to gain jobs and independence by:
  • Improving employability with skills training and qualifications
  • Offering career guidance focusing on encouragement to develop interests, talents and opportunities
  • Providing access to practical work experience through shadowing and internships
  • Promoting access to computers and the internet to improve job readiness through training in digital skills and resources


SOS Children’s Villages YouthCan! programme is a global initiative to empower young people and help them prepare for and manage their transition to independent adulthood. YouthCan! provides individualised, holistic support to prepare young people for the jobs market. It offers them hands-on experience in a real working environment, entrepreneurship training, skills sharing, career opportunities, and access to role models, mentors and networks.
Additionally, the digital platform YouthLinks leverages the power of technology to reach and support more young people so they can enhance their employability. It provides an opportunity for young people and mentors to connect more easily, share materials, create networks and support each other - breaking geographical and time barriers.