WSI Citi Foundation Skills for Success Challenge, SDG 8WSI

Design a solution to promote equal access to skills development and employment opportunities for marginalized and disadvantaged youth.

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SDG 8 is all about creating sustainable economic growth and ensuring good work opportunities for everyone.

A key component of this challenge is thinking about how young people, like you, are preparing for a future job market that will look very different. Around the globe, the World Bank estimates that close to 18% of the world's youth in the labor force are unemployed.

To make meaningful progress on SDG 8, solutions from young people, like you, are necessary to empower young people to adapt to changing job market conditions.

How can you promote jobs, internships, apprenticeships, and other opportunities for global youth like you?

Imagine a world where everyone has an equal shot at learning valuable skills and finding great jobs. Your challenge is to devise a creative idea that turns this vision into a reality. How can we create pathways for young individuals, especially those facing challenges or coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, to gain the skills they need to thrive?

Consider the issues that global youth are facing. For example:

Skills Divide: Henrietta Fore, UNICEF Executive director claims "A global skills gap, economic decline and an employment market that requires more complex and diverse skills than ever before have contributed to a 12 percent drop in youth employment over the past two decades". How can you address the growing division between education and skills needed for the future workforce to ensure all youth have equitable employment opportunities?

Gender Divide: The International Labor Organization (ILO) finds that working-age women still have a harder time finding employment than men. How might you find a solution to address the gender gap in employment for youth?

Youth with disabilities: The UN reports that unemployment rates for youth with disabilities are higher than for the rest of the youth population in every society. How can you create accessible opportunities to provide employment for youth with disabilities?

The challenge is to consider an innovative solution that empowers young people, like you, to adapt and be well-equipped to succeed in the workplace.

Not sure how to dig in? Consider some of these examples of how these ideas are laying the foundation to future workforce development. 

  • Teens for Food Justice is a youth-led nonprofit organization addresses both youth unemployment and food insecurity. Teens for Food Justice trains young people in urban farming and hydroponics, providing them with job skills while contributing to sustainable food production in their communities.
  • SheWorks! is a platform that focuses on empowering women, including young women, in the workforce. It connects them with remote job opportunities across various industries, making it easier for them to balance work and personal commitments.
  • DeafTEC serves as a resource for high schools and community colleges that educate deaf and hard-of-hearing students in STEM-related programs and for employers hiring deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals. They provide training, resources, and guidance to help young people with hearing impairments pursue STEM careers.

Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation's "More than Philanthropy" approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit

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    "The Citi Foundation is committed to supporting efforts that help boost the employability of underserved young people around the world through leadership and skills training, experiential learning, and access to professional networks,” said Brandee McHale, Head of Citi Community Investing and Development and President of the Citi Foundation. “It’s a privilege to continue our support for NFTE and the World Series of Innovation in its work of nurturing the next generation of diverse entrepreneurs by giving them the opportunity to unlock their potential through challenges that positively impact their communities around the globe.”

    Brandee McHale / Head of Community Investing and Development at Citi and President of the Citi Foundation.

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