It was a bold initiative by Nestlé : A project to create 1,000 jobs for Caribbean youth between the ages of 16 to 29. To make it happen, Nestlé partnered with companies and organisations across the region, with a plan to announce the final job numbers at its October Caribbean Youth Summit — NOW.
Thanks to a tremendous response from both the private and public sector, when the date came around, Nestlé and its partners were able to pledge 3,082 jobs across the Caribbean over the next three years : More than three times the company’s initial target.
“Sixty-three per cent of CARICOM’s population is under the age of 30, and, even before the pandemic, ILO research showed that our youth were three times more likely to be unemployed than adults,” says Josué De La Maza, Head of Market for Nestlé Anglo Dutch Caribbean, “The pandemic has deepened this crisis, and young people have suffered disproportionately. There is a clear need to skill, reskill and upskill our young people, and Nestlé is confident that we can make a difference.”
“Nestlé has focused on youth because we know this is one place where we can have a lasting impact on our communities and on society. We are committed to leading the youth development agenda across the region by focusing on youth employability, on readiness for entrepreneurship and, critically, on agripreneurship, because we believe there is great potential to rejuvenate the Caribbean’s agricultural sector for the benefit of our youth. We are very pleased with the results of this job creation initiative and believe we can build upon this success,” he says.
Employers pledging jobs include : Massy Integrated Retail Business Unit, Massy Distribution, Eastern Credit Union, Republic Bank, Flow, MIC, AV Knowles, USC, CARIRI, UWI, NTTL Merchandisers- Hopedale Enterprise, Guardian Group, Dale McLeod Agency, Sandals Jamaica, Digicel Jamaica and Beepats, Guyana.
According to Kristin Martinez, Nestlé’s Head of Human Resources: “By making this commitment to job creation, Nestlé and our regional partners have demonstrated our commitment to developing the future leaders of the communities in which we operate.”
Mrs. Martinez and her team at Nestlé have undertaken responsibility for follow-up with regional partners to fulfil the job pledges, and results will be reported annually through Nestle’s Annual CSV (Creating Shared Value) Reports over the period 2022-2025.
The job-creation pledge, like the Youth Summit, are part of Nestlé’s flagship global initiative, Nestlé Needs YOUth, which aims to increase both the employability, and the employment, of young people globally. Nestlé Needs YOUth was introduced to the Caribbean in 2015. Since then Nestlé Anglo Dutch Caribbean has hired 220 young people, as well as 324 apprentices, interns and trainees. The company has trained 38,455 youth and has partnered with 48 organisations to help create additional opportunities for young people.