Empowering young people for a better tomorrow

Growing up in today’s world is not always easy. It is even harder for those who grow up without the support of a family. SOS Children’s Villages empowers young people to acquire the skills they need to transition to the workplace and independent life. Thanks to our partnerships, young people can access education, training and mentorship to help develop their knowledge, confidence and resilience. Together, we work to build a better tomorrow, where no one is left behind.

Youth Employability

Partnering for Youth Employability

Young people all over the world are facing challenges when trying to find work and transition to independence. The youth unemployment rate in South Africa increased by 4.6 percentage points since the previous year. With 64.18 percent, the youth unemployment rate thereby reached its highest value in the observed period. Those without parental care or coming from families at risk of breakdown have an even harder time finding a job. We support young people to help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects.


Poor education, together with a lack of social support networks, parental encouragement and career guidance are some of the reasons for historically poorer employment prospects of young people living in alternative care.

Youth in South Africa continue to be disadvantaged in the labour market with an unemployment rate higher than the national average. According to the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the first quarter of 2022, the unemployment rate was 63,9% for those aged 15-24 and 42,1% for those aged 25-34 years, while the current official national rate stands at 34,5%.
South Africa has over 10 million young people aged 15-24 years and, of these, only 2,5 million were in the labour force, either employed or unemployed. The largest share (7,7 million or 75,1 %) of this group of young people are those that are out of the labour force (i.e. inactive). The main reason for being inactive is discouragement, i.e. they have lost hope of finding a job that suits their skills or in the area they reside.
SOS Children’s Villages programmes in Sub-Saharan Africa and one in Asia revealed the difficulties experienced by young people leaving alternative care to find jobs.Their education often fails to meet labour market demands, they lack experience, and don’t have the personal contacts to get a foot in the door of formal employment.

Empowering young people

We support young people on their way to employment and independence through a special focus on youth empowerment.

We provide guidance to young people on education and career options, and encourage them to develop their individual interests, talents and opportunities.

We equip disadvantaged young people with the skills and qualifications to increase their employability.

We assist young people to get practical work experience through job shadowing and internships. To do this, we are working in successful partnerships with the private sector, NGOs and government organisations.

A good example is the GoTeach programme with Deutsche Post DHL which improves the employability of disadvantaged young people and early school leavers by connecting them with the world of work. More than 9,000 young people in 26 countries across Latin America, Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe have benefited from the programme.

We promote access to computers and the internet, and help young people improve job readiness through training in digital skills and digital resources for job seekers.

Learn more about how we work with partners to leverage the benefits of technologies for children, young people and families:

Network of global YouthCan! partners