Citi and the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress Commitment to Youth Employment and Skills Development Reaches Tens of Thousands of Youth in Asia
Over the last two years, Citi and the Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress Youth employment program has invested over US$24.5 million in supporting 49 youth employment organisations across the region, which are supporting over 111,000 youth.
In addition, Citi has also hired more than 5,500 youth across the region as part of its commitment to hire 6,000 by 2023. Close to 75,000 youth have also taken part in virtual banking skill experience courses run by Citi.
Citi Asia Pacific and the Citi Foundation announced in September 2020 a collective commitment of US$35 million in philanthropic investments to advance economic opportunities and employability for youth from low-income and underserved communities in the region by 2023.
The regional commitments are part of Citi and the Citi Foundation’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.
Over the last two years, Pathways to Progress also engaged over 1,300 Citi employee volunteers across the region, 25% of whom were from Indonesia. As Citi Volunteers, they share some of their time and talent to serve as mentors, coaches, and role models to many young people.
“The expanded Pathways to Progress initiative delivers critical support and training to young people, significantly improving their employment prospects. Youth are key to Asia Pacific’s COVID-19 recovery and to inclusive growth across the region,” said Citi Asia Pacific CEO Peter Babej. He is a member of Citi’s Executive Management Team and on the Board of the Citi Foundation.
On its employment and training, Citi has committed to over the next three years to offer 6,000 jobs and 60,000 skills training opportunities across Citi’s retail and institutional businesses in Asia Pacific 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 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.
The program offers ‘lifelike’ on-the-job tasks and skills training relevant to an analyst role across three different businesses at Citi – Banking, Capital Markets and Advisory (BCMA), Markets and Securities Services, and Consumer Banking.
The Citi Foundation’s grant investments across Asia Pacific are focused on programs that serve low-income and underserved communities who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including young women at risk, migrant youth, minorities, and youth with disabilities.
In addition, Pathways to Progress programming on youth leadership and innovation will be strengthened, to recognize the role youth can play in enabling progress and finding solutions for the most pressing challenges faced by society.
In Indonesia, Citi Foundation has reached more than 14,000 beneficiaries through 4 programs over the past two years, namely Creative Youth at Indonesian Heritage Sites Program, Skilled Youth Program, Youth Ecopreneurship Initiatives, and Youth Entrepreneurship Digital Approach Initiative.
Commenting on this, Citi Indonesia CEO Batara Sianturi said, “Youths in Indonesia have been facing unemployment crisis since the beginning of the pandemic COVID-19. Based on the 2021 BPS data, youths aged 15-24 years account for highest open unemployment rate in Indonesia during the COVID-19 pandemic which is at 19,55%.”
“The Pathways to Progress initiative underlines our effort to tackle this urgent issue by equipping and empowering young people with the skills to improve their employability. We believe that youth play a key role in Indonesia’s COVID-19 recovery.”