Citi Foundation paves Pathway to Progress: Awards over $1 million AUD to local charities tackling youth unemployment
Sydney – Citi Foundation has awarded grants of over $1 million AUD to community partners in Australia, supporting youth employment programs and creating economic opportunities for young people experiencing disadvantage.
Since Citi’s Pathways to Progress program was launched in Australia in 2017, Citi Foundation has donated more than A$8 million to local not-for-profits and community partners. Through the program, Citi aims to equip young people, particularly those from underserved communities and backgrounds, with the skills and networks needed to succeed in today’s rapidly changing economy and be the most employable generation yet.
Commenting on the grants, Head of Corporate Affairs for Citi Australia & New Zealand, Louise Lindsay, said it is crucial to invest in the futures of young Australians.
“Unemployment in Australia is at record lows of 3.4 percent, and while youth unemployment rates have improved in recent times, they remain twice that of the national average at almost 8%. The figures reach higher levels in areas facing socioeconomic disadvantage.”
“Additionally, young Australians were disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. They make up just 14 percent of the workforce but incurred 55 percent of the job losses during the 2021 lockdowns.”
Globally, Citi Foundation has invested approximately US$200 million in Pathways to Progress programming. By 2023, the Citi Foundation expects to cumulatively impact over a million young people around the world with a total investment of US$300 million.
“Through Citi Foundation’s Pathways to Progress program, we hope to address the persistent, systemic issue of youth unemployment, not just in Australia but globally. We do this through philanthropic efforts, like our grants program, as well as volunteering initiatives, career development opportunities, and mentoring and networking programs,” Ms Lindsay added.
“While it is pleasing to see the unemployment rate improve, this is not an excuse to take our foot off the pedal. We need to take action to secure meaningful career opportunities for the next generation,” Ms Lindsay concluded.
Grant Recipients for 2022/2023:
AIME – With the support of this grant, AIME will continue to end educational inequality between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians through the IMAGI-NATION Program. AIME will support 500+ final year high school students to complete school and transition into a positive post school pathway at the same rate or higher than their non-Indigenous peers.
Brotherhood of St Laurence – The Creating Futures for Youth program supports young people experiencing disadvantage pursue their career aspirations and build their capacity for an ever-evolving workforce. Through this grant, Brotherhood of St Laurence will continue to extend the program to 180 young people not currently engagement in education, training or employment, with a focus on youth from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) communities.
Northcott is one of Australia’s largest not-for-profit disability services organisations and supports people with a disability to realise their potential. The NEXT – Northcott Experience Tasker program will continue to build the capacity of the Northcott Society by supporting the development of employer engagement opportunities, staff training and program content upgrades which will equip young people with disability with vocational skills to increase employability.
Social Ventures Australia – Through the Rebuilding the Career Ladder Initiative, SVA work with a community of employers in Western Sydney that are committed to rewiring their current and future recruitment practices. Phase two of the initiative works to increase the opportunities for low-income youth at risk of long-term unemployment.