On 12 March 2015, the European Youth Forum and its partners launched the Employers' guide for quality internships. During this event, Laurent Freixe, President of AIM and Executive Vice-President Nestlé, presented AIM's joint initiative with the European Youth Forum, "skills for the future", which aims to make a positive contribution for the European Union and its future generations.
Speech Laurent Freixe, President AIM, Executive Vice-President Nestlé:
Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s a pleasure to participate in this important event.
I would like to congratulate the European Youth Forum and its partners for the co-creation of this excellent and very practical employers guide for quality internships and the self-assessment tool. This is gospel! The statistics and key points featured should convince every company that offering quality internships is in their own strategic interest in addition to making a contribution to a sustainable society.
Currently my own company is benchmarking our internship approaches with the European Youth Forum assessment tool with a view to implement the latest insights and practices as part of our youth employment programme. Many AIM members will be embarking on a similar journey as part of our new joint AIM/European Youth Forum initiative “skills for the future”.
One major stumbling block to economic recovery and a prosperous future for our continent is high unemployment and especially the much too high youth unemployment, to the point that there is talk of a “lost generation”. During one of our recent brand events, Robert Madelin, Director General of DG CONNECT at the European Commission, said that “…we have to recreate a pipeline of resilient, problem-solving and lifelong learning citizens who can be assets… for the European economy…”. AIM and YFJ agree and decided to join forces to contribute to reaching this objective.
Consumer brands and youth are natural partners. This sounds counterintuitive because some of our AIM members and brands are centenarians. My company will celebrate its hundred and fiftieth anniversary next year. Great brands came to life thanks to the passion of their creators. They however overcame challenging times and remained true to the values of their founding fathers by incorporating constantly new talents. The world has never changed as fast as today and that is certain to remain true in the future. Our companies can count on young employees and interns to bring in fresh ideas that are in step with those changing times. This is especially true in our digital age.
The European Youth Forum and AIM will pool resources, share insights and expertise in order to make our work on youth employability more effective. In 2015, we will implement the actions outlined in our joint EU pledge, including by launching an online portal highlighting the tools created by the European Youth Forum and the initiatives designed by AIM members to help young people acquire new professional skills. We will report back early 2016 during a joint event.
When the Board of AIM, my peers in our member companies, adopted the Skills for the Future Initiative in November, I was pleased to see the unanimous support and the willingness to engage. When we meet again tomorrow I will make sure that they are aware of this new Guide and understand the opportunity of using it throughout their businesses.
 81% of trainees state that they developed skills during their traineeship that are later useful in their professional life. European Commission, 2013. Internships can build your early career talent pipeline: 72% of small to medium sized enterprises state that the chance to train potential future employees is the key reason they offer traineeships. European Commission, 2014
Link to AIM-YFJ initiative "skills for the future"
Link to the joint press release with YFJ, AIM and the other supporters of the Employers' guide for quality internships.
Link to the storify of the European Youth Forum