Sun | Apr 21, 2019

Jamaica lauded for progress in Nestle Needs YOUth initiative

Published:Thursday | July 5, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Nestle's executive vice president and chief executive officer for Zone Americas, Laurent Freixes (right), greets interns at the company at the official opening of Nestle corporate office at Ferry Pen, St Andrew on Monday.

The quality of the human capital in Jamaica has left a positive impression on Laurent Freixes, Nestle's vice president and chief executive officer for Zone Americas.

Freixes, who is in charge of the largest region for Nestle International, was in Jamaica on Monday to officially open the company's new corporate office and distribution centre at Ferry Pen, St Andrew.

Freixes is the visionary behind the global youth initiative, Nestle Needs YOUth programme, whose aim is to reduce youth unemployment and bolster their employability skills.

He said the programme has had great success since its launch in Jamaica in 2016 and has been growing steadily over the period for every target set.

"I am very proud to see that Jamaica has excelled when it comes to Nestle Needs YOUth. We have reached over 1,300 young people in just the last two years. Indeed, 36 of those young people are working today within Nestle as interns," Freixes said.




He told The Gleaner that the programme was very close to his heart and that he is happy to know that the youths of Jamaica have been so receptive of the programme. He said his aim is to continue to promote stronger communities and offer the youth a chance at a brighter future.

"They are super enthusiastic, and it's really refreshing to see how positive they are and how much they contribute. I am very impressed with the quality of the human capital in Jamaica, the quality of the education and the level of the motivation, and the engagement of the youth. They are a real enrichment for the organisation," Freixes said.

Nestle Needs YOUth has four pillars: get hired, get skilled, get support and get more opportunities.

"It's important for Jamaica itself and for the communities in Jamaica to have the youths integrated into the workforce, integrated into society. It's important for the communities to develop and to strive, and it's important for Nestle because if we can integrate the youths, then we can prepare our company to develop in the future in the context of technological revolution," Freixes said.