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“BRIDGE. Educating young people for tomorrow, today”: BMW Group and UNICEF announce global partnership. The long-term collaboration will help equip young people with skills and knowledge to succeed in the future world of work.

Today, on World Children’s Day, the BMW Group and UNICEF are announcing their long-term partnership under the slogan “BRIDGE. Educating young people for tomorrow, today.”

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Thilosh Moodally
BMW Group

Munich/New York. Today, on World Children’s Day, the BMW Group and UNICEF are announcing their long-term partnership under the slogan “BRIDGE. Educating young people for tomorrow, today.”

The partnership will contribute to UNICEF’s global aim to reach 10 million children and young people each year through education. The BMW Group’s long-term support, with an initial commitment over seven years, will help provide science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) education and skills development to children and young people in Africa, Asia and Central and South America. 

STEM-related jobs are the engine of global economic growth, yet millions of these jobs are projected to go unfilled due to a gap in skills. The problem is more acute in low- and middle-income countries and much more prevalent among girls and women. Today, women constitute a minority in both STEM education and careers, representing only 28 per cent of engineering graduates, 22 per cent of artificial intelligence workers and less than one third of tech sector employees globally.

“Young people around the world have the power and creativity to influence societies for the better,” says Georg Graf Waldersee, Chairman of the Board at UNICEF Germany. “We need to empower and support them so they can become the innovators and change makers of tomorrow. Because sustainable transformation and the path to a fairer, safer world begin where young minds come together and discover their potential – in classrooms or working labs. We are proud and grateful that the BMW Group is accompanying and supporting us on this journey as a strong private sector partner.”

“At the BMW Group, we believe that education is the engine that drives the development of our society,” states Ilka Horstmeier, Member of the Board of Management at BMW AG, People and Real Estate, Labour Relations Director. “With UNICEF, we have a long-standing partner at our side who shares this opinion. Therefore, I am beyond delighted that we are joining forces with our global collaboration over the long term from now on. Together, we will bridge the gap between schooling and working life as well as enable the transfer of knowledge.” 

Ilka Horstmeier continues: “With our multinational workforce on five continents, we consider ourselves as a true corporate citizen. It is not only important for us to be engaged on a global level, but also on a local one. That’s why, together with UNICEF, we get involved at the BMW Group sites worldwide. Additionally, it is great that we can give our diverse network of stakeholders the chance to engage and participate in the partnership to ensure basic education for children in crisis situations.”

Following the launch of the collaboration between the BMW Group and UNICEF in South Africa in 2023, the partnership will be expanded in 2024 to Brazil, China, India, Mexico and Thailand – all of which have programme needs and have BMW Group presence. The collaboration will support programmes ranging from providing laboratory equipment to developing a customised teacher training curriculum, and from mentorships to job-shadowing. With this in mind, the BMW Group is not only providing financial support amounting to two million euros each year until 2030, but also contributing its own expertise and network. 

In addition, in 2024, the BMW Group will join forces with its global network of affiliates and with the involvement of stakeholders to raise funds to support the UNICEF’s work in emergencies and protracted crisis thereby ensuring continuity of children’s learning in safe environments.


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