McKinsey's Generation receives $8 million grant from IKEA

06 August 2019 3 min. read

McKinsey & Company’s Generation has found new momentum in its operations across India and Kenya, with an injection of $8 million coming from the IKEA Foundation to help develop skills among the youth. With the new resources, Generation will be equipped to train and recruit nearly 50,000 young professionals in the two countries.

Kenya and India are amongst a handful of countries where Generation works for skill development, alongside Mexico, the US and Spain, among others. Generation already has a considerable presence in the Indian market, operating across 20 sites in urban centres, small towns and rural areas alike, depending on the skill requirements in these regions.

The target audience for Generation’s initiatives is unemployed individuals between the ages of 18 and 29, usually hailing from historically marginalised and disadvantaged groups. Last year, Generation entered a partnership with the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) in India to conduct skill training amongst 5,000 individuals in the country.

The IKEA Foundation has now endowed Generation with $8 million to aid this skill development process, using which the institution hopes to train as many as 47,000 young individuals cumulatively across India and Kenya over the next three years. The initiative looks to tackle a major discrepancy regarding unemployment rates in both countries.

IKEA Foundation and Generation

While youth in both countries struggle to find employment, employers in both areas also appear to be struggling to find professionals to work at an entry level. The primary reason for this gap is a lack of skills in the market. Generation will use its additional funds and work to fill this gap by developing the necessary skills.

Not only will the youth receive skill training in a bootcamp-format skill programme, but the new resources will also allow for the provision of certain social services for them such as transportation, support with childcare, and mentorship towards the later stages of their skill development and early stages of their career.

So far, Generation appears to have been highly successful in its skill development efforts, particularly in India. More than 70% of the individuals who participate in Generation programmes in India are placed in organisations within three months. These include large organisations such as Apollo Hospital and The Leela Group.

Commenting on the new funds, President & CEO of McKinsey Generation Mona Mourshed said, “We are thrilled to have the support of the IKEA Foundation to help young Kenyans and Indians transform their life trajectories through employment. The ripple effect of this step-change in their income has the potential to impact the well-being of families and entire communities.”

CEO of the IKEA Foundation Per Heggenes added, “We are partnering with Generation because we want young people in Kenya and India to have the chance to develop marketable skills, find sustainable jobs and grow their incomes. With these incomes young people can support themselves and their families by paying for healthcare, education and a safe home. That is why we invest in programmes that create systems change, addressing the barriers young people face when it comes to earning a living and enabling them to build better futures.”