Citigroup and the Citi Foundation announced they will make US$35 million philanthropic investments in Asia Pacific by 2023 to advance economic opportunities and employability for youths from low-income and underserved communities. In addition, the bank will offer 6,000 jobs and 60,000 job skills training opportunities for young people in Asia over the next three years.
The regional commitments are part of Citi’s expanded global Pathways to Progress& initiative. This initiative is designed to equip young people with the skills and confidence to improve their employment and entrepreneurship opportunities and make a positive impact in their lives and their communities in rapidly changing economies.
According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), Asia Pacific is home to more than half of the world’s youth population, with 700 million youth aged 15-24. While they represent 20 percent of the total working-age population, this youth segment accounts for almost half of the Asia Pacific’s jobless. The pandemic and resulting economic crisis has further challenged this issue. Projections through the end of 2020 in 13 countries show sizable jumps, with youth unemployment rates doubling the 2019 rate in some cases.
“Communities in Asia Pacific are facing a youth unemployment crisis, especially among low-income and underserved groups, due to the impact of COVID-19. The expanded Pathways to Progress initiative underlines our effort to tackle this urgent issue by equipping and empowering young people with skills to improve their employment outcomes. Young people are key to Asia Pacific’s COVID-19 recovery and this investment will help them advance their economic opportunities and support inclusive growth in the region,” said Peter Babej, Citi’s Asia Pacific CEO.
On its employment and training, Citi has committed to offer 6,000 jobs and 60,000 skills training opportunities across Citi’s retail and institutional businesses in Asia Pacific over the next three years, through its summer internship program, full-time analyst and associate roles, on-campus programs and opportunities with Citi University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery (CUPID) Program.The CUPID program engages diverse students on a range of innovation projects across the company.To provide students with the opportunity to experience banking despite the pandemic, Citi Asia Pacific launched a first-of-its-kind Virtual Reality Intern Experience program, open for enrolment to students around the world.
In Taiwan, Citi continues to focus on development programs for Taiwan’s youths. Paulus Mok, Chairman of Citibank Taiwan, said Citi Taiwan has cooperated with local social welfare organizations to launch all-round development programs for new graduates, college students and young people from disadvantaged families. The initiatives are aimed at helping the youths enhance their entrepreneurial thinking, leadership, financial management and professional skills through career exploration, skills training, and employment consulting. Since 2016, Citi Taiwan has invested over NT$40 million to help more than 1,000 young people aged 16-24 to successfully land their very first job.
Citi Taiwan will further expand the development programs to high schools and promote English debate education on the campus. This unique initiative will train the students to enhance their English communication skills and independent thinking capability, have an international perspective, and boost their own competitiveness in this globalized era.
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