Zurich : Lunch & Learn

10 Sep 2010

Employing the Next Generation

Catie Thorburn, President of Generation Europe Foundation

The young represent tomorrow’s decision-makers who will live, work, consume and contribute to the future economic and political fiber of the world. A 2010 survey conducted by the Generation Europe Foundation (GEF) in conjunction with the Future Work Forum identified what young people expect from employment today and how they view their prospects. Catie Thorburn, President GEF presented the findings to the International HR Community at a Lunch & Learn session on September 10. Over 7,000 respondents aged 18-30 of 89 different nationalities from 71 countries were nearly unanimous about their priorities when looking for a job: good salary; career perspective; a meaningful job; training opportunities and life-work balance. The way of looking at work is changed from the optimistic attitude of 2001. Well qualified students who can’t find jobs contribute to underlying pessimism. When they can’t find a job, they have to create one and are looking to be more entrepreneurial. Companies must have more contact with the educational system to match talent with the jobs to be filled in the future. They also recommend career guidance start much earlier and company internships or apprenticeships be introduced.

Generation Europe Foundation – a Brussels based NGO – was set up in 1995 as a channel to communicate with young Europeans on complex issues concerning their future. This two-way communication enables representatives from the public and private sectors to interact with young people.


Text by Mary Bronson