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UNICEF, Ayushmann Khurrana and public-private-youth partners launch ‘YouthHub’

It will curate economic opportunities for young people, especially girls and marginalised youth.

UNICEF executive director, Catherine Russell; its India national ambassador, Ayushmann Khurrana; government officials; the private sector and young people launched YouthHub app to connect them (youth) in India to future job opportunities, especially girls and marginalised youth.

The platform was jointly launched by them along with Shombi Sharp (United Nations Resident Coordinator in India), Meeta Rajivlochan (Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports), Cynthia McCaffrey (representative, UNICEF India), Ashwin Yardi (CEO, Capgemini India), Ranen Banerjee (government sector leader, PwC India), Vandana Bahri (head, skills and livelihood, Children’s Investment Fund Foundation - CIFF India), Dhuwarakha Sriram (chief of YuWaah, Youth Development, and Partnerships at UNICEF), Abhishek Gupta (COO, YuWaah at UNICEF) and two young leaders - Zakira Ganji and Jagriti Pandey.

The YouthHub - co-created by YuWaah at UNICEF, PwC India, Capgemini, and CIFF - aims to connect young people to curated jobs, skills, and volunteering opportunities. In its first phase, which was launched on Tuesday (October 3, 2023), the YouthHub app has become accessible to young individuals via the Google Playstore. It offers free access to aggregated job opportunities in nine Indian languages, simplifying the job search process for young people:

UNICEF executive director, Catherine Russell, said, “Investing in children and youth is the best way to deliver on the Sustainable Development Goals and create a brighter future for generations to come. Collaborative initiatives such as YouthHub are a good way to reduce inequalities and ensure that girls are included and have access to future job opportunities. We can create a lasting impact when young people are involved in decision-making and when their voices are heard.”

Ayushmann Khurrana, actor and UNICEF India national ambassador, said, “Being a UNICEF India National Ambassador has allowed me to peek into the lives, dreams and hurdles faced by the children and young people of our country. They are our future and ensuring they have a fair shot at success is not just a choice, it is our duty. The YouthHub app by YuWaah at UNICEF and partners is like a script for success for every young person in India. It is not just a platform; it is a dream factory that opens up doors to economic, skilling and volunteering opportunities. But it is much more than that. It is a symbol of hope and the belief that every youngster, no matter their gender or background, deserves a shot at greatness. And we begin with equal opportunities for all. That is what the YouthHub app will extend to young people.”

Meeta Rajivlochan (Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports), said, “In India, today's youth require phy-gital platforms to access more economic opportunities and fully realise their potential and passion. UNICEF and private sector agencies have been collaborating with us in the past and collaboration with multiple agencies, is important to increasing outreach and to fostering youth empowerment."

Cynthia McCaffrey, representative, UNICEF India, stated, “India has the largest population of young people in the world. Our mission is to give them the tools to drive change themselves and reach 300 million people by 2030 through all our initiatives spanning across access to economic and skilling opportunities, innovation, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and volunteering. We have already fostered meaningful connections with over 65.5 million young people and these numbers represent lives transformed, dreams ignited and communities strengthened and a better world in the making. YouthHub converges our efforts through YuWaah into a ‘hub’ for young people across the country which would help open doors to economic opportunities for the underserved communities.”

Sanjeev Krishan, chairperson, PwC in India, said, “It is an honour to be a part of this transformative single-window platform to address young people's socio-economic needs. This platform was envisioned because of co-creation between PwC and YuWaah (Generation Unlimited in India at UNICEF) back in 2019, where we had three key motivations: youth centrality, scale and innovation. PwC takes pride in the fact that we have helped develop the blue book for the platform and have supported the creation of this platform."

Ashwin Yardi, CEO – India, Capgemini, said, "Capgemini is delighted to have co-created the YouthHub platform in partnership with YuWaah at UNICEF and PwC India. Serving as the co-chair of the YuWaah board in India, I have personally witnessed the inspiring passion, unwavering resilience and boundless potential of young individuals. Their invaluable insights have been pivotal in shaping the development of this platform, a true collaboration designed to meet their unique needs. I am confident that our partnership will thrive as we remain steadfast in our dedication to innovation, ensuring that meaningful solutions touch the lives of every young individual."

Manjula Singh, executive director, India Children's Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF), said, “We, at CIFF, believe that when girls and young women are connected with the right force multipliers education, right skills and opportunities for income generation, they are able to navigate multiple barriers they face in their journey to adulthood and gain agency for their life choices among many others. Therefore, for us, investing in girls and young women is not just a moral imperative but also a strategic imperative to contribute to the Government’s vision for women-led development. Through YouthHub, we are working towards bringing a digital transformation in the lives of over a million young women by empowering them with access to a platform that aggregates job opportunities, fostering connections to 21st-century skills and socio-economic prospects.”

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