Future of work

Image of young Unilever trainees working on a project

The future of work isn’t just about automation and new technologies, it is about people. In order to build a better business and a better world, we’re committed to reshaping the employment landscape.

Every person has the right to work and live a productive life. Our people are the heart of our business and we’re ensuring that they understand their own personal purpose. We take our responsibility very seriously ‘To help people adapt and stay ready for change.’

The only way to envision the future of work is to imagine and create a world where humans are thriving.

Future workforce

The future of work must focus on three key areas: Equipping our people with training, pioneering new flexible employment options, and partnering with others to create jobs and skills for young people outside of Unilever.

COVID-19 has created hardships for many and affected the jobs of many more. Even before the pandemic, people between 15 and 24 years old were three times more likely to be unemployed than adults (International Labour Organisation, 2020).

And so, with the aim of reshaping the employment landscape, we’re helping young people develop the skills that they need to find meaningful work.

Many young people are not well-equipped to enter the workforce. So, we’re increasingly working with like-minded partners and governments to create employment skills for people between the ages of 15 to 24 years. The goal is to help them find and keep meaningful work. This is our opportunity to reshape how we work, for good.

Our goal

Globally, our commitments include three aspects of the future of work.

  • Ensuring that everyone who directly provides goods and services to the company earns at least a living wage or income, by 2030.
  • Spending €2 billion annually with suppliers owned and managed by people from under-represented groups, by 2025.
  • Pioneering new employment models for employees and equipping 10 million young people with essential skills to prepare for job opportunities, by 2030.

Some of our brands have been working for young people for years. For example, ‘I am Wall’s’, our global ice cream vendor programme provides training, equipment, products and licensing to thousands of long-term unemployed people. Kwality Wall’s mobile vending initiative ‘I am Wall’s’ has helped vendors become self-sufficient micro-entrepreneurs selling ice creams on the move. It equips people with skills such as sales, customer service and problem-solving, and provides many young people with work experience as they step into the job market. This initiative has empowered over 14,283 people and 153 differently abled persons across the country.

Enhancing access to training and skills

Glow & Lovely Careers

Our Glow & Lovely Careers online initiative is designed to help women create an identity for themselves by providing them with career guidance, skill-based courses and information about job opportunities. The platform addresses multiple skilling barriers that girls and women in India face – Including limited access to transportation, lack of parental permission, high cost of courses and very few quality local institutes. The platform is powered by a range of high-quality education and career guidance partners including established EdTech companies like edX, English Edge, Hello English and start-ups such as www.testbook.com and www.idreamcareer.com.

Over one million users have registered on the platform that has facilitated over 4,30,000 course enrolments and supported over 3,60,000 users in accessing relevant career guidance.

Rexona Confidence Academy

Nine out of ten households in India use our products. Our efforts are directed towards improving the living standards and enhancing the lives of people. The Rexona Confidence Academy has trained over 15 lakh young college-going girls on interview preparation, who are at the cusp of transitioning into the professional world. Our objective is to improve their employment prospects through the Academy, by enhancing their skills and preparing them for the next crucial stage of their life.

Rin Shine Academy

The Rin Shine Academy aims to provide career readiness skills to the youth in India. It focuses on two simple but valuable skills: English Speaking and Interview Training. Keeping up with the times, the delivery platform has now changed from IVRS & Website to a Mobile App. So far, over 6,37,178 people have benefitted from this programme.

Improve livelihoods of small farmers

Image of a farmer

As one of the biggest FMCG companies in India, HUL generates direct and indirect employment for hundreds of thousands of people across our value chain. Our supplier and distribution networks involve thousands of smallholder farmers, distributors and retailers, many of whom are women. We are embedding sustainability across our business and using the power of our brands to contribute to a fairer, more socially inclusive world.

Small Holder Farmers (SHF’s) enrolled to the trustea[1] program have more access to formal training opportunities on sustainable practices focused on the environment, safety and livelihoods. They are trained on the sustainable use of agrochemicals, nutrition management based on soil analysis, and good agricultural practices.

As of 2020, about 56% of India’s tea production is trustea verified, impacting 67k tea smallholder farmers (SHFs), accounting for about 32% of India’s tea SHFs and 610k tea workers; of which around 60% are women.

We are also working with farmers and suppliers to drive up the social and environmental standards in our supply chain. We have constantly supported them through the Unilever Sustainable Agriculture Code, equivalent standards like trustea, and the Rainforest Alliance. This will help implement best practice principles for farming with thousands of farmers, in order to make their operations more sustainable.

SHF’s are trained on the Tea Board of India's Plant Protection Code (PPC) and by using Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), they have benefitted both in terms of health and compliance.

1 - trustea is a multi-stakeholder program, locally developed and owned India sustainability tea code.

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