Building on the success of the “Inclusion of Young Workers in the IKEA Supply Chain” youth development programme in Vietnam in 2017-2018, The Centre for Child Rights and Business continued working with IKEA Purchasing & Logistics Southeast Asia to support young workers in its supply chain in Indonesia in 2019.
Almost one in five youth (15-24) are unemployed in Indonesia, and approximately 4.5 million children who should be in school are not. Lack of access to decent work means many end up working in the informal sector, where exploitation is rife and opportunities for skill-building and career development are sorely lacking. At the same time, many Tier 1 factories do not hire under 18s, further limiting young people’s chances of securing decent work.
The Inclusion of Young Workers programme gives youth, particularly disadvantaged and marginalised youth, the opportunity to access decent work and opportunities for personal and professional development, while at the same time furnishing the industry with skilled labour. The programme also contributes to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which highlights the important role the private sector can play in creating decent work for all.
Reflecting IKEA’s vision to “provide economic opportunities and empower people so they are able to better provide for themselves and their families”, this programme achieved that goal by providing factory managers, HR staff and mentors with the tools to integrate young workers into the production processes, setting up responsible recruitment mechanisms for hiring young workers and building up participating factories’ capacity to run the programme inside the factories.
At the same time, participating youth received ongoing training opportunities throughout their time at the factories. Trainings placed a strong emphasis on technical skills training including on-the-job training and in courses such as IT, finance and literacy skills etc. Training in life skills was also offered, including courses on sexual harassment prevention, gender equality, communication, goal setting etc.
In Vietnam, the programme led to the recruitment of 165 youth in 10 supplier factories who were empowered with the necessary technical and life skills to succeed as employees. It also led to an increase in the percentage of young workers planning to stay at the factory for two years or more. Similar outcomes are expected in Indonesia.
“We have better experience with young workers now,” said one factory manager in Vietnam. “We manage them better now and they have improved communications skills and more patience. We are more familiar with assignment tasks in the production line with young workers.”
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