Brussels, 26 April 2012
Today at the European Business Summit (EBS), Hyundai Motor Europe announced a new initiative that sets out to prepare young people with the skills they need for the job market of tomorrow.
‘Skills for the Future’, developed in partnership with JA-YE Europe (Junior Achievement-Young Enterprise), is a three-year programme starting this year. Launching in five countries first – Germany, UK, Italy, Spain, and the Czech Republic – it will give approximately ten thousand (10.000) vocational school students in 15 countries across the European Union the chance to try their hand at enterprise, learn valuable STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) skills and apply their knowledge to practical use in their future careers. They will be exposed to a variety of learning-by-doing approaches, like creating and managing their own technical micro-companies. As well as being a formative introduction to entrepreneurship, the programme will also nurture softer skills like teamwork, management and organisation.
Students will have the opportunity to work with over 400 Hyundai Motor business volunteers from across Europe, who will serve as invaluable role models and provide insights from their fields. Every year, a Hyundai Motor prize will be awarded for the best idea for an automotive service or product among the student companies.
Hyundai has a proven track record for CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives in individual Member States, and ‘Skills for the Future’ is the company’s first pan-European CSR initiative.
Speaking at EBS, Allan Rushforth, Senior Vice President and COO of Hyundai Motor Europe, said: “Hyundai Motor Europe is committed to innovation – and at the heart of innovation are people. ‘Skills for the Future’ isn’t just about tackling youth unemployment – it’s also about nurturing a vibrant talent pool of people primed for the jobs of the future.”
The launch of ‘Skills for the Future’ comes at a time when youth unemployment in Europe is at an all-time high. The theme of this year’s European Business Summit – ‘Skills for Growth’ – makes it an ideal platform for the launch of this new programme. Hyundai is a main sponsor of the European Business Summit.
Hyundai is a committed corporate citizen, leading car manufacturer and prominent employer in Europe. In the Czech Republic alone, the company has created 10.000 jobs – either through Hyundai or its suppliers, and 95% of Czech nationals living in Moravia-Silesia are now either directly or indirectly employed by the company.
Hyundai Motor continues to expand and invest in Europe despite the economic slowdown: in 2011, it counted 5 million sales in Europe since imports began in 1977 and now boasts its best-ever European market share of 3,3%.
The ‘Skills for the Future’ initiative has been warmly welcomed by Koos Richelle, Director General of the European Commission’s DG for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion: “‘Skills for the Future’ is an excellent initiative that fits squarely both with the Commission’s initiative ‘Europe 2020,’ which strives to equip young people with the right skills for the jobs of today and tomorrow, and the Commission’s strategy for Corporate Social Responsibility.”
The partnership will not only target students, it is also designed to connect teachers and parents with business leaders. Through the Hyundai Motor ‘Master Class’, teachers and parents from participating schools – together with Hyundai Motor employees – will brainstorm ways to improve the quality of skills education and bridge the gap between business and learning.