The Forum Network is a space for experts and thought leaders—from around the world and all parts of society— to discuss and develop solutions now and for the future. It aims to foster the fruitful exchange of expertise and perspectives across fields, and opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of the OECD.
As part of an OECD Forum series, the virtual event The School-to-Work Transition will take place from 1430–1600 CET on 8 February 2023. Register your place now!
The more opportunities young people have to engage directly with employers and workplaces, the more likely it is that they will transition successfully into the world of work.
This is the key concept of GoTeach, and while it may sound easy many young people lack this opportunity.
When DPDHL (Deutsche Post DHL) started looking into education and employability as a potential Corporate Citizenship focus area, we soon realised that nearly 600,000 local employees in over 200 countries and territories are our biggest source of experience. They had managed to transition to the world of work successfully, securing a job in a multinational company. Many of them had started at entry level and worked all their way up to more senior positions. They have been successful despite all the challenges one may face in developing countries and informal economies.
On the other hand, we had potential NGO partners supporting young people to lead independent lives. These international NGOs had a long and successful track record and a clearly defined “theory of change” for what is needed for young people to be successful. They supported the most vulnerable and disadvantaged youth living in underprivileged communities, or those without parental care/at the risk of losing it. They needed access to networks in the working world and to potential role models for young people. The idea was to connect these young people with our employees.
The young people connected easily with the experienced volunteers as they were perceived as role models. Most importantly, the relationships they developed were more important than any knowledge imparted.
In the first phase we piloted our concept in a number of countries. We started voluntary partnerships (based on interest and needs) on country level. The main topic of collaboration was employability activities for the target group of 15- to 25-year-olds. Selection and implementation of meaningful interventions was done at the local level. This created a very diverse and colourful variety of formats. We saw job shadowing, company visits and internships. We had short sessions and camps over the weekend, one-off CV writing classes and week-long series of seminar-like classroom sessions. A qualitative and quantitative survey, representing young people as well as corporate volunteers in 13 countries in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Central-South America, delivered a very insightful proof of concept. Most young people left GoTeach more confident and more optimistic about their own future. The young people connected easily with the experienced volunteers as they were perceived as role models. Most importantly, the relationships they developed were more important than any knowledge imparted.
More on the Forum Network: The Future Out There: Transitioning from education to work by Anna Jeppesen, Former Member, Youthwise, OECD
In the second phase we scaled GoTeach programme to 65 countries over 79 partnerships with our two global partners, SOS Children’s Villages and Teach For All. Young people and their needs are central to our approach. Interventions are designed depending on this very important criterion, taking into consideration local circumstances. The activities are delivered on an annual basis following the planning-delivering-reporting cycle. DHL volunteers are provided with general training in areas such as the Code of Conduct, as well as specific training depending on the particular employability activity they are involved with.
We also scaled the concept by reaching out to like-minded companies to follow our model. In an open-source approach, we shared all lessons, evaluation, formats, concepts—everything we had learned and developed so far.
We aligned and decided to have one trilateral GoTeach approach instead of two bi-lateral ones. This means a high level of collaboration, co-creation and joint decision between DHL, SOS Children’s Villages and Teach For All on important topics like strategy, implementation process and results framework. We also scaled the concept by reaching out to like-minded companies to follow our model. In an open-source approach, we shared all lessons, evaluation, formats, concepts—everything we had learned and developed so far. This developed into a NGO-led platform called YouthCan!, with around one hundred companies in almost 50 countries offering meaningful interventions and encounters for young people.
The third phase of GoTeach started in 2022. Based on our own experience over 12 years, and the OECD research led by Anthony Mann, we developed a standardised global framework for GoTeach. This framework defines the minimum requirement for all GoTeach countries going forward. We aim to guarantee three interventions for each GoTeach participant in the same year. With this we increase the likeliness for young people to successfully transition from school to the world of work. The new framework will come with a library of meaningful interventions with guidance, format and learning objectives for each intervention. The aim is to simplify and standardise the approach, making implementation easier for GoTeach and YouthCan! countries. This will also help us measure the success and effectiveness of our efforts. In an open-source approach, all resources will be extended to other organisations as needed. Based on this we expect to scale our approach with better outputs. With this approach, we will get closer to our target of offering meaningful employability interventions to all young people reached by our partners in 2030.