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Daily press, 2017-11-15, 09:52 AM

thyssenkrupp Elevator and SOS Children’s Villages launch “Project SEED” – an initiative to improve youth employability in regions with severe joblessness

  • 40% of the world’s unemployed people are youth aged 15-24, according to the International Labor Organisation (ILO)
  • Youth at SOS Children’s Villages in Colombia, Brazil and India are expected to benefit from the first phase of Project SEED
  • Supporting underprivileged communities in cities around the world is part of thyssenkrupp Elevator’s vision of making cities the best places to live

Urban mobility expert thyssenkrupp Elevator is partnering with SOS Children’s Villages – a much-respected global NGO – to support young people in regions with severe youth unemployment rates. In the first phase of Project SEED, up to 60 SOS youth in Colombia, 100 in Brazil and 130 in India will receive assistance from thyssenkrupp and its employees in the form of soft and basic skills training, career guidance, entrepreneurship support and real-world work experience. The aim is to help these young people successfully become employable, independent adults. The first phase of the program will last for one year.

With the launch of the Project SEED, thyssenkrupp participates in the YouthCan! initiative, which builds on a strong alliance between non-governmental organisations, the private sector, governments and the commitment of young people eager to advance in life.

In today’s world, youth unemployment is a considerable social tragedy, with one third of young people worldwide without access to education, training or a job of any kind. Under Project SEED, local thyssenkrupp employees will volunteer as trainers, mentors and role models, offering their expertise and access to their professional social networks, while the company will provide selective financial aid to entrepreneurship projects, and offer apprenticeships and career opportunities.

The program starts today in Bogota, one of the seven SOS villages located in Colombia. The kick-off event consists of a workshop for the staff of the SOS Children’s Village and the local employees of thyssenkrupp Elevator. The goal is to concretely identify activities for each of the youth participants, given their specific needs and the resources available.

Andreas Schierenbeck, CEO of thyssenkrupp Elevator, personally participated in the Project SEED kick-off workshop in Bogota, “I was eager to attend the first session to emphasize the importance of learning, talent nurturing and the engagement of employees in effective social responsibility activities for our company.” Andreas added, “Our business is the design, manufacture, delivery and servicing of advanced urban mobility solutions that contribute to making cities the best possible places to live. Naturally, that also means supporting equitable social balance and quality of life.”

Andreas Schierenbeck first visited Colombia in 1995. He subsequently lived and worked there from 2000 to 2003 for up to six months each year. During his time in Colombia he learned Spanish, as well as gaining a profound appreciation of the “optimism, perseverance and warmth” of the Colombian people.

Petra Horn, CEO of SOS Children’s Villages, adds: "Today, youth unemployment is a global challenge. But children and youth who have grown up in alternative care or in a SOS Children's Village face a much bigger challenge. They haven't had the chance to learn naturally from their parents to get an idea how the working life looks like. These young people need special support.”

She says: “Young people make up a growing percentage of the total number of children and youth supported through SOS Children’s Villages programmes. At the moment, 60% of young people have a job one year after they left family-based care and 71% make at least satisfactory progress in education. Our 2030 Strategy aims to bring both of these numbers above 90% by 2030.”

“We only can fulfill these goals, when we can find partners like thyssenkrupp Elevator. I'm so thankful and happy for the partnership with thyssenkrupp Elevator. They will support SOS and the youth tremendously by creating inspiring opportunities for young people and ensuring an equal chance for them to succeed in life."

thyssenkrupp Elevator champions training, growth opportunities and talent development for all of its 52,000 employees, particularly through its “seed campus” network of more than 15 fixed and mobile learning centers located on all continents.

This network also provides part of the inspiration for thyssenkrupp Elevator’s partnership project with SOS Children’s Villages. This is also reflected in the name: Project SEED aims to Support, Educate, Elevate and Develop.

SOS Children’s Villages is an international non-profit organization that provides family-like environments and a good education for at-risk children in vulnerable communities. As the children grow into adulthood, they also receive ongoing support designed to help them obtain a steady job and a satisfying career.

Images for download are available here:

About SOS Children’s Villages:

SOS Children's Villages is the world’s largest non-governmental organisation focused on supporting children without, or at risk of losing, parental care. The non-denominational organisation was founded in 1949 and today has a presence in 135 countries and territories.

SOS Children’s Villages adheres to the principle that every child grows best in a family environment, with loving parents or caregivers, living together with their siblings, in a place they can call home.


SOS Children’s Villages runs more than 2,500 programmes directly reaching more than a million children and adults. It partners with donors, communities, governments and other organisations to reach the children and their families, who need support, thus preventing family breakdown, and it advocates for governments to uphold their obligations with regard to child rights.

About us:

thyssenkrupp Elevator

thyssenkrupp Elevator brings together the Group’s global activities in passenger transportation systems. With sales of 7.5 billion euros in fiscal 2015/2016 and customers in 150 countries, thyssenkrupp Elevator has built its position as one of the world’s leading elevator companies from scratch in a mere 40 years’ time, by applying thyssenkrupp’s unique engineering capabilities. With more than 50,000 highly skilled employees, the company offers smart and innovative products and services designed to meet customers’ individual requirements. The portfolio includes passenger and freight elevators, escalators and moving walks, passenger boarding bridges, stair and platform lifts as well as tailored service solutions for all products. Over 900 locations around the world provide an extensive sales and service network to guarantee closeness to customers.


thyssenkrupp is a diversified industrial group with traditional strengths in materials and a growing share of capital goods and service businesses. Over 156,000 employees in nearly 80 countries work with passion and technological know-how to develop high-quality products and intelligent industrial processes and services for sustainable progress. Their skills and commitment are the basis of our success. In fiscal year 2015/2016 thyssenkrupp generated sales of around €39 billion.

Together with our customers we develop competitive solutions for current and future challenges in their respective industries. With our engineering expertise we enable our customers to gain an edge in the global market and manufacture innovative products in a cost and resource-friendly way. Our technologies and innovations are the key to meeting diverse customer and market requirements around the world, growing in the markets of the future, and generating strong and stable earnings, cash flows and value growth.