JA Europe and Hyundai join forces to tackle skills gap in Europe’s job market

Brussels, Belgium, 18 November 2015

For the fourth consecutive year, Hyundai Motor Europe and JA Europe are partnering to encourage young people to improve Europe’s ability to remain competitive and innovative. The ‘Skills for the Future’ initiative aims to improve the entrepreneurial skills and employability of Europe’s young people by building their competences in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and awareness on sustainability in the automotive industry and beyond.   

While businesses have a significant role to play in moving towards a demand-led system of skills development, it has become crucial to cooperate with the educational system to develop effective education and training programmes. 

In the last 3 years, ‘Skills for the Future’ has reached over 10,700 young people between the ages of 15 and 18 in vocational schools across 15 European countries. During the year-long programme, students – guided by their teachers and some 300 Hyundai Motor volunteers – have had the opportunity to develop their own enterprise, learn increasingly valued STEM skills and directly apply their knowledge to the real world of business. 

By optimizing students’ existing human capital and helping them achieve high performance, the initiative represents a significant milestone in students’ personal development. At the end of this school year, the Hyundai Skills for the Future Award - recognised by the European Commission as a good practice in entrepreneurial education - will reward the best ideas for car services and products, with a specific focus on sustainability solutions. Winners from last year created SoberDrive, an innovative breathalyser incorporated within a car-key. Currently exploring ways to market their product, the young enterprise is cooperating with Hyundai to explore their markets and possibilities.

Youth employment has become a top priority for the European Commission and this initiative will directly address the issue of cultivating the competences necessary to tackle the skills mismatches and support growth in Europe. Still, the clock is ticking on Europe’s ability to meet their 2020 objectives. Today more than ever, JA Europe and Hyundai are committed to support young Europeans in successfully entering the labour market. They furthermore call on policy-makers to help stimulate this change by catalysing much-needed reforms. Skilled employees are in high demand, especially in competitive and innovative sectors such as the automotive industry. 

“To meet the demand for skilled workers, business and education must work together. Programmes like ‘Skills to the Future’ and our partnership with Hyundai Motor are an excellent way to prepare young people with both the technical and entrepreneurial skills they will need.” says Caroline Jenner, CEO at JA Europe

Thomas A. Schmid, Chief Operating Officer, Hyundai Motor Europe, commented: “Through our Skills for the Future programme, we are supporting students with mentoring and insights, focusing particularly on the important field of sustainability. We provide practical, real-world experience, to enhance the opportunity for Europe’s young people and to foster an environmentally-conscious mind-set.”


About JA Europe

JA Europe ( is Europe’s largest provider of education programmes for entrepreneurship, work readiness and financial literacy, reaching 3.5 million students in 39 countries in 2015. It was founded in 2001 when Young Enterprise Europe and Junior Achievement International Europe merged. JA works with the education and business communities as well as governments to provide young people from primary school to university with experiences that build the skills and competences they will need to succeed in a global economy. JA’s activities have been endorsed as best practice by the European Commission. JA Europe is the European Regional Operating Centre for JA Worldwide®.

About Hyundai Motor Europe

In 2014, Hyundai Motor Europe achieved registrations of 424,467 units – an increase of 1% compared to 2013. Almost 95% of the vehicles Hyundai sells in the region are designed, engineered and tested in Europe to meet the needs of European customers. And 90% are built at its two local factories in the Czech Republic and Turkey, which have a combined annual capacity of 500,000 units. Hyundai sells cars in 31 European countries through 2,500 outlets. 

More information about Hyundai Motor Europe and its products is available at 

Follow Hyundai Motor Europe on Twitter @HyundaiEurope and Instagram @HyundaiEurope.


For more information please contact

Marie Hargitt

Digital Media & Communications, JA Europe

+32 (0)2 893 44 36


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