Mechell Chetty on Unilever's new LevelUp Digital Hub

The new digital learning platform will include online training and mentorship programmes.

With the aim of educating and upskilling 1.5 million young South Africans by 2025, this December Unilever is launching the LevelUp Digital Hub to provide online training and mentorship programs to inspire the next generation of change-makers.

The hub is a digital platform that provides young people in South Africa with personal and professional skills development and access to work and volunteer opportunities. Through the LevelUp Hub, Unilever aims to empower young people and cultivate their talent through online courses – some already available on the hub’s site. Mentorship programmes with Unilever employees and career coaching will help to give South Africa’s youth the edge as they pursue their chosen career.

“At Unilever, we believe we have a responsibility to help young people acquire the right skills they need to become productive and engaged members of society. The next generation needs us all to join in the fight against joblessness. To do this, they need as much guidance and education as possible, which is why we’re launching the LevelUp Hub on 7 December,” says Mechell Chetty, HR VP Africa at Unilever, adding that the world’s youth are currently facing wide and complex challenges, especially when it comes to education and finding employment.

Out of 1.8 billion young people worldwide, 126 million live in extreme poverty, and 267 million are classified as NEETs (youths not in education, employment or training). The Covid-19 pandemic is set to worsen the current outlook, potentially costing this generation over $10 trillion, and disrupting the education of approximately one billion students. In South Africa alone, 59 percent of the 10.3 million young people are unemployed, 6.5 million live in moderate to extreme poverty and 3.5 million are NEETs.

“At Unilever, we constantly strive to make the world a better place. The challenges that our planet faces today can only be solved through our collective effort to make a positive change. Young people have a critical role to play in helping us build a fairer, safer and more prosperous world, and contributing to our mission of making sustainable living commonplace. That is why it is really important for us to be part of building the change-makers of tomorrow,” says Mechell.

Unilever will be working in partnership with Microsoft South Africa, Pearson and LinkedIn, whose learning content will be featured on the hub alongside a series of monthly masterclasses. From career guidance and job interview skills development to career counselling and education on diversity and inclusion, the LevelUp Hub will provide real, useful advice to new graduates who are trying to make their way into the world of work.