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Helping young Sri Lankans become more employable

Nestlé Needs YOUth initiative

We launched this initiative in 2016 to help address the issue of youth unemployment.

Currently close to 35% of our workforce is under 30 and more than 60% are millennials. We are also facilitating dual education (i.e. combining on-the-job training with university-based learning), which is a key success factor in bridging the gap between school and the workplace. We are also actively conducting work readiness activities, which prepares young people to seek or obtain employment and be successful in the workplace, placing a special focus on women and the differently abled.

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We also facilitate dual education via internships, and a professional marketing programme taught by Nestlé Managers to students from the University of Kelaniya. The programme offers an additional professional marketing qualification on top of students’ degrees, where they learn 15 subjects covering Collaboration, Leadership, Innovation and Personal Development. The sessions are held at our Training Centre in our head office, where Nestlé employees share theoretical and practical applications using various training interventions. Students also participate in field visits across the island for insights and experience of the market. The top 10 students receive sales training stints with the company for six months on completion of the programme.

Our Trainee Engineering Programme in our factory in Kurunegala also provides engineering graduates an all-round comprehensive training and work familiarisation, to give them solid work experience that will serve them well in their engineering careers. Good performers are offered employment within the company.

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Through our NERI (Nestlé Education Responsibility Initiative) Programme, we conduct work readiness sessions for university students on CV writing, facing interviews, career guidance, and tips to succeed at the workplace, through digital media, job fairs and workshops.

Our WIN (Women in Nestlé) volunteer group, formed to support female employees, is now providing readiness-for-work workshops for both female and male students from rural universities, as well as differently abled young adults.

Our focus on developing youth extends to our own employees as well. Our comprehensive 18 month Management Trainee Programme, which has been successful for years, is a significant initiative in developing young people to be the company’s future leaders. Many of our senior management, joined Nestlé as Management Trainees. Nestlé’s ‘I-Tomorrow’s Leader Programme’ also offers young talent within the company accelerated training and development modeled after a mini MBA, with high performers offered assignments overseas to support them in paving long-term careers with Nestlé.