Generation 2018

Annual Report

Since our launch four years ago, each year has yielded opportunities and lessons. 2018 was no different, and we are committed to sharing our progress with you. Join us, our partners, and our funders in helping thousands of young people transform their careers and lives for the better.

Download the full report

A message from the CEO

Youth employment is a two-sided problem:

75 million




Generation offers a two-sided solution. We have a dual mission: to empower young people to build thriving, sustainable careers and to provide employers the highly skilled, motivated talent they need.

Just over four years ago, we launched our first Generation classes. By the end of 2018, we had nearly 25,000 graduates in nine countries.

No one organization can solve a problem of this magnitude alone, and our success is shared with our partners. Generation is an approach, a methodology. We work hand-in-hand with others to bring the program to life.

We have learned a great deal in the last four years, and are committed to sharing what we learn with others. This report captures some of those lessons, paints a picture of Generation globally, and outlines our impact so far, all alongside the stories of just a few of our incredible graduates.

It has been a remarkable journey so far, and we’ve only just begun. I hope you’ll want to join us on it.

What we’ve learned

Four years ago, Generation started its first pilot programs with the goal of connecting unemployed and underemployed young adults with skills and jobs. We’ve learned a lot since then about what works and what doesn’t. Here are a few of the most important lessons.

  1. 1

    Return on Investment (ROI)

    Proving business ROI is necessary but not sufficient to convince employers to change how they recruit and train entry-level workers.
  2. 2

    Pain Points

    Employers’ pace in altering recruiting and training practices varies by profession type (e.g., high scarcity vs. churn).
  3. 3


    Although funders often focus on cost per student, cost per employed day is a more effective metric because it takes employment and retention into account.
  4. 4


    Focusing on activities, rather than skills, is central to shortening program length and enabling rapid learning.
  5. 5


    The most critical determinant of student/graduate success is their hunger to change their life.
  6. 6

    Training ≠ Employment

    Training is only one of seven components that are necessary to result in high job placement and retention.

More detail on these lessons appeared in Stanford Social Innovation Review in November 2018  

A look forward

The year ahead brings opportunities for continued success, ongoing growth, and new experiments.

More People

We believe our approach could help anyone of any age who is seeking to gain new skills to begin a new profession. We are making our program available to new demographics, including midcareer workers who find themselves displaced from their jobs due to automation or digitization.

New Countries

We plan to continue expansion into additional geographies in 2019. In fact, since the end of 2018 we already have launched in Brazil, France, and the United Kingdom, and are in the “pre-launch” stage in Australia.

New Methods

We will experiment with programs that blend online and in-person learning that may increase flexibility, cost effectiveness, and scalability.

Meet our graduates

Video: Generation Stories from Kenya, Spain, and USA

Around the world, our students have overcome enormous obstacles to find their career path through Generation.

Video: Generation Stories from India, Mexico, and Hong Kong

Through their Generation experience, our graduates have transformed what’s possible for their families, their workplace, and their own lives.