Hong Kong – To honour the International Youth Day, which is celebrated on 12 August, global health and beauty retailer A.S. Watson Group has announced its commitment to provide 200,000 job openings for young people globally by 2030. This pledge is to give young people from all over the world the opportunities, skills, and experiences to equip them for the fast-changing business landscape and kickstart their careers in retail.
The initiative aims to enable the youth to gain valuable experience to develop their career in the retail sector. The jobs will span different areas of the retailer’s business, including working in stores, at head office, and in distribution, and the roles are multi-disciplinary from customer service specialist, to marketing, digital development, e-commerce, analytics, and finance, as well as sustainability, amongst others.
Parkson Tseung, A.S. Watson Group’s group people director for Asia, noted that they all have a responsibility to nurture the next generation, and what young people need is more companies opening doors to them and offering them a platform to prove their abilities.
“A.S. Watson is proud to provide more and better opportunities so that young people see hope in their future amid uncertainties in the world economy. The pandemic has made it difficult for young people to start their career with limited exposure to the workplace. Through these jobs, we are not just empowering them to be more confident and competent but also strengthening our business by listening to the voice of the next generation,” said Tseung.
Meanwhile, Joanne Mackie, A.S. Watson Group’s group people director for Europe, shared that young people are an important source of talents and creativity; by developing their skills, they can make their business stronger and fitter for the future.
“We are not only offering job opportunities, we’re also providing training and coaching to give young people the skills they need to work in the new world of O+O retail. We plan to provide 5 million training hours specifically for youth in our global workforce to embrace the future. We look forward to 200,000 talented young people joining us between now and 2030 to help fuel the sustainable growth engine for A.S. Watson,” said Mackie.
A.S. Watson has been investing in a range of people development programmes that combine on-the-job learning with further education. In the UK, Superdrug and Savers Apprenticeship Scheme has been established for more than 10 years to help school leavers who wanted to gain work experience rather than formal qualifications and has been recognised as a top Apprenticeship Employer in Retail. More than 4,500 people have achieved a Retailer Apprenticeship qualification through the scheme.
Meanwhile, in Asia, the A.S. Watson Retail Academy was the first local retail academy in Hong Kong since 2018. A.S. Watson was also the first local company to offer a Professional Diploma in Retail Management, a Qualifications Framework (QF) level 5 programme, equivalent to a bachelor’s degree on the job. So far, more than 4,400 people have graduated from all levels of QF programmes.