Supporting an inclusive and sustainable economic recovery

BlackRock co-funds global coalition with McKinsey & Company, Microsoft and Verizon to help more people access jobs in the wake of the pandemic.

BlackRock’s philanthropic arm grants $13 million in COVID-19 relief funds to Generation, a nonprofit tackling global unemployment, with targeted programs in Italy, France, Spain, India, U.S. and UK.

At a time when the pandemic has produced record losses in income and jobs globally, BlackRock’s philanthropic arm - the BlackRock Foundation - is providing $13 million in anchor funding to Generation, a global employment nonprofit that prepares, places and supports people across 14 countries into life-changing careers that would otherwise be inaccessible.

In each market, Generation’s work is a targeted response to clear employment challenges:

  • In France, COVID-19 has forced many companies to reduce or completely shut down their business activities. To help workers whose jobs have been displaced by the pandemic, BlackRock Foundation is supporting Generation France to launch a new program that reskills mid-career entry-level workers and connects them with upwardly mobile jobs. As willingness to hire entry-level talent increases across industries, the grant BlackRock will also support Generation France to innovate new ways for Generation’s learners to access employment, such as through apprenticeships and technical mentoring.
  • As a result of COVID-19, India’s unemployment rate reached 24% in 2020.1 Simultaneously, nearly 63% of employers report facing talent shortages in recruiting.2 To help address the talent and skills gap, the BlackRock Foundation is supporting Generation India to scale a national partnership with the Indian public skilling system (NSDC), reaching 30,000 learners across 50+ districts by 2022.
  • In Italy, COVID-19 led to a 20% reduction in hours worked compared to 2019, with retail and tourism – two sectors with the highest youth employment – among the hardest hit sectors.3 The BlackRock Foundation’s support will help Generation Italy more than double its staffing capacity in order to scale its training platform to 2,000+ learners annually by 2022 to prepare young jobseekers for roles in COVID-19 resilient sectors, such as in tech, healthcare and new jobs in the green sector.
  • Spain has one of the highest youth unemployment rates in Europe, with about 40% of youth currently out of the workforce.4 Moreover, small and medium-sized enterprises generate more than 70% of jobs.5 The BlackRock Foundation will support Generation Spain to both help young jobseekers develop the skills needed to access high-demand jobs and to strengthen recruiting pipelines for SME employers.
  • In the UK, BlackRock is building on its existing collaboration with Generation UK which began last year through support of their tech accelerator training and apprenticeship programme. Attention is now turning toward economic recovery resulting from the unprecedented disruption created by COVID-19. The BlackRock Foundation will support a multi-year effort to scale training and employment placement programmes for thousands of young learners and mid-career workers into more resilient roles in technology and healthcare, as well as looking toward building pathways for new green jobs opportunities.
  • In the U.S., it is estimated that 42% of COVID-related layoffs will become permanent The impact, both in health outcomes and economic damage, is already being felt more acutely by communities of color.6 The BlackRock Foundation will support Generation USA to navigate learners in Washington, D.C., New York, and Atlanta – 80% of whom identify as Black or Latinx – through a technical training and apprenticeship program into full-time employment in the tech sector, for example as web developers, data analysts, cloud practitioners and digital marketing analysts.
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The impact of COVID-19 has had far reaching consequences causing a health crisis, mass job displacement and further exposing social inequities. We are proud to partner with employment charity Generation UK and to expand our support as they launch new training, upskilling and employment placement programmes. Investing in young talent and mid-career workers to prepare them for roles in health care, technology and new opportunities expected from a green recovery will help them build a more financially resilient and sustainable future.

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Sarah Melvin Head of UK and Ireland

The grant builds on the BlackRock Foundation’s existing nonprofit partnerships geared towards helping people who face systemic and ongoing barriers build stability today so they can access a more resilient future.

And in line with the firm’s goal to build a more resilient economy, the Foundation is supporting job training and placement opportunities to help individuals build a steady and upwardly mobile income as one pathway to achieving financial resilience.

COVID-19 has not only led to massive global unemployment by eliminating millions of jobs but has further exposed deep, growing societal inequities, with the physical and financial consequences disproportionately falling on certain segments of society, from under-privileged communities to young people to single parents.

The funds, which are part of the final phase of BlackRock’s previously announced $50 million COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts, will help Generation scale its proven seven-step methodology to support more than 75,000 learners by 2022, placing them into entry-level, in-demand jobs in durable sectors including tech, green jobs and healthcare. Alongside Verizon, Microsoft and McKinsey & Company, BlackRock will seed the program’s Global Coalition, providing $5 million in infrastructure and allocating an additional $8 million across Generation’s country operations in Italy, France, Spain, India, U.S. and UK.

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Generation’s focus on breaking down barriers to meaningful employment is aligned with the BlackRock Foundation’s goals to promote equitable economic opportunity in our communities. We’re excited to be supporting a purpose-driven partner with ambitious growth plans to help more people into durable, sustainable careers.

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Deborah Winshel Global Head of Social Impact at BlackRock and President of the BlackRock Foundation

Beyond the Foundation’s financial contribution, BlackRock will leverage its network of clients and vendors to help match Generation graduates with employers looking for talent in sectors specific to each market.

The firm will also leverage internal specialists with subject matter expertise in sectors undergoing rapid innovation such as infrastructure, renewables, etc. to help Generation anticipate careers of the future and develop insights for workforce programs, employers and policy makers.