Citi Steps Up Its Commitment to Youth Employment, Skills Development and Innovation across Asia Pacific

September 18, 2020 - 09:58
Citi Steps Up Its Commitment to Youth Employment, Skills Development and Innovation across Asia Pacific

  • As part of the expanded global Pathways toProgress initiative, Citi and the Citi Foundation to collectively invest US$35million in philanthropic contributions and grants to improve the employabilityof youth from low-income and underserved communities in Asia by 2023
  • Citi Asia Pacific to offer 6,000 jobs and 60,000job-skills training opportunities for youth over the next three years 
  • Young people to continue to be positioned front and center in tacklingmost pressing challenges in Asia and accelerating progress towards the United Nations'Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

HONG KONG, CHINA - Media OutReach - 18 September 2020 - Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) - Citi Asia Pacific and the CitiFoundation today announced a collective commitment of US$35 million in philanthropic investmentsto advance economic opportunities and employability for youth from low-incomeand underserved communities in the region by 2023.  In addition, the bank will offer 6,000 jobsand 60,000 job skills training opportunities for young people at Citi Asia overthe next three years. 


The regionalcommitments are part of Citi's expanded global Pathways to Progress initiative. This initiative is designed to equip young people with theskills and confidence to improve their employment and entrepreneurshipopportunities and make a positive impact in their lives and their communitiesin rapidlychanging economies.


The increasedcommitment is in response to the impact of COVID-19 on youth employment in theregion. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), Asia Pacificis home to more than half of the world's youth population, with 700 millionyouth aged 15 to 24 years. While they represent 20 per cent of the totalworking-age population, this youth segment accounts for almost half of the AsiaPacific's jobless. The pandemic and resulting economic crisis has furtherchallenged this issue. Projections through the end of 2020 in 13 countries showsizable jumps, with youth unemployment rates doubling the 2019 rate in somecases.[1]


"Communities in Asia Pacific are facing a youthunemployment crisis, especially among low-income and underserved groups, due tothe impact of COVID-19. The expanded Pathways to Progress initiative underlinesour effort to tackle this urgent issue by equipping and empowering young peoplewith skills to improve their employment outcomes. Young people are key to AsiaPacific's COVID-19 recovery and this investment will help them advance theireconomic opportunities and support inclusive growth in the region," said PeterBabej, Citi's Asia Pacific CEO.


On its employment andtraining, Citi has committed to over the next three years to offer 6,000jobs and 60,000 skills training opportunities across Citi's retail andinstitutional businesses in Asia Pacific through its summer internship program,full-time analyst and associate roles, on-campus programs and opportunitieswith Citi® University Partnerships in Innovation & Discovery(CUPID) Program.


The CUPID program engages diverse students on a range of innovationprojects across the company.  To provide studentsthe opportunity to experience banking despite the pandemic, Citi Asia Pacificlaunched a first-of-its-kind Virtual Reality Intern Experience program, openfor enrolment to students around the world.


The program offers 'lifelike' on-the-job tasks and skills trainingrelevant to an analyst role across three different businesses at Citi - Banking,Capital Markets and Advisory (BCMA), Markets and Securities Services, andConsumer Banking.


Citi Foundation grant investmentswill focus on programs that serve low-income and underserved communities who have been disproportionatelyimpacted by COVID-19, including young women at risk, migrant youth, minorities and youthwith disabilities.


Inaddition, Pathways to Progress programming on youth leadership and innovation will be strengthened, to recognize therole youth can play in enabling progress and finding solutions for the mostpressing challenges faced by society. 


In Asia Pacific, examples of Pathways to Progress programmingfunded in 2020 include: 


  • YouthCo:Lab, a project co-created by Citi Foundation and the United NationsDevelopment Programme (UNDP), to continue bringing governments and stakeholderstogether to support young social entrepreneurs in starting and growingbusinesses that accelerate achievement of the United Nations' SustainableDevelopment Goals in more than 25 countries and territories across the region
  • Citi's US$10 million commitment in India to deliverdemand-driven future skills training to 200,000 low-income youth and providingat least 70% of them with employment across India's growth industries
  • Paid internshipssupported by Citi through Hong Kong Council of Social Services and Kyung HeeUniversity in South Korea to provide university students the opportunity togain work experiences at nonprofit organizations
  • Citi Foundation partnershipwith AIME in Australia to help Indigenous high school youth further theireducation or transition to job training and employment
  • Citi Foundation partnershipwith the Philippine Business for Education through First Future, which unlocksthe first careers of K to 12 graduates by connecting education to concreteeconomic opportunities
  • CitiFoundation partnership with UCEP Bangladesh to ensure decent employment ofunderprivileged women by providing demand-driven skills training, nationallyrecognized certification and job placement support
  • CitiFoundation partnership with The Garden of Hope Foundation in Taiwan to helpteenage girls who have experienced domestic violence or exploitation to explorefuture employment opportunities and professional interests
  • CitiFoundation partnership with UNESCO in Indonesia to build an enabling ecosystemand contribute to sustainable livelihoods for young entrepreneurs in creativeindustries living in and around Indonesia's heritage sites


Since 1999, the CitiFoundation, has been actively engaged across Asia Pacific, investing over $280million in grant funds. In Pathways toProgress: Insights from Six Years of Programming, the CitiFoundation summarizes the learningsand insights gathered that have helped inform the programming and evolution ofthis initiative.


Pathways to Progress also engages thousands of Citi employee volunteers,who lend their time and talent to serve as mentors, coaches and role models tomany young people. 



[1]Tackling the COVID-19 youth employment crisis inAsia and the Pacific: ILO and ADB, 2020


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Citi Foundation

TheCiti Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives ofpeople in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increasefinancial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagineapproaches to building economically vibrant communities. The Citi Foundation's"More than Philanthropy" approach deploys the enormous expertise ofCiti and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership andinnovation.