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Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Leaders


Today’s Youth, Tomorrow’s Leaders

Kelly Salance

Finding a job is a challenging process, particularly if you are a young adult entering the workforce for the first time. It can be difficult to understand where to start your search, how to apply, and what are the best ways to market yourself. The challenge becomes increasingly difficult if you are in a place like Brazil, where the unemployment rate is alarmingly high for young people. In 2017, the estimated youth unemployment rate in Brazil was 30.5%. With a staggering 6.6 million young people (aged 18 -24) not in school or at work, what can be done?


Enter Instituto da Oportunidade Social (IOS) — a non-profit in São Paulo with a mission to seek, support and train young people (15-29 years old) who have less access to job opportunities.Founded in 1998, IOS has always put the youth at the center of their mission. Their core objective is to bring technological access to low income youth through professional training programs. From business management and entrepreneurship trainings to technical IT software courses, IOS offers a variety of classes, support workshops, and trainings to prepare young people to enter the workforce.

Despite 2017 being economically difficult for young adults in Brazil, IOS students saw an 18% increase in entering the job market from the previous year. In all, 1,016 IOS students became employed. Moreover, of the students who graduated from IOS in 2017, at least 35% are working and 15% enrolled in higher education. These numbers indicate that over half of IOS trainees are in better social and economic opportunities after completing their time at IOS.

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When a young person arrives at IOS, they are doing more than just attending trainings. They work to gain knowledge and the skill sets to own their destiny. IOS is preparing their students for formal employment in a competitive job market and showing that we can address the youth unemployment challenge to achieve lasting change.

Work in Brazil? Partner with IOS and learn how to hire a student in your office here.

And to learn more about Zendesk’s partnership with IOS here.