McKinsey Partner wins Spanish social impact award for Generation Spain work

25 January 2018 3 min. read

Alejandro Beltrán, managing partner of McKinsey in Spain, has won an award for his role in leading McKinsey’s contribution to social impact in Spain and the Iberia region. Launched in October 2014, McKinsey’s Generation programme in Spain has to date helped more than 700 unemployed youth with skills and job opportunities.

While many employers complain of a talent shortage, and struggle to fill vacant entry-level positions, youth unemployment has continued to reach highs across the world. As many as 75 million young people are currently without work. Fortunately, there are initiatives which have realised this contradiction, with one example being the Generation programme, launched by McKinsey Social Initiative, to solve youth unemployment.

The non-profit, which was founded in 2014, began life in Spain and the US, but is also active in India, Kenya, Mexico and the United Kingdom today. First, the foundation has implemented an end-to-end methodology: identifying areas most in demand by companies, the recruitment of unemployed young people (based on aptitude and motivation), and the training period and the placement / contact between companies and graduate profiles. The group then leveraged this information to create a mixed programme of training in technical skills and a high component of professional skills and mentality workshops, with results that have seen the employability of young job-seekers apparently boosted by 80%.

McKinsey Senior Partner wins Spanish social impact award for Generation Spain work

In the Spanish wing of the project, the first youth unemployment pilots were launched in October 2014, with students in Barcelona and Madrid benefitting from the career development opportunity. By 2016, over 95% of the first cohort of 86 students in Spain had successfully completed the programme. At the time, 85% were then employed with 50 different companies, the majority of which were SMEs. Despite the Spanish economy still being hampered by a youth unemployment rate of close to 50%, the organisation’s second cohort experienced similar success – and later that year were joined by counterparts in the new Spanish location of Seville.

In the two years since, having expanded into another two cities and upped the size of their classes, the free programmes have assisted over 700 young people, 87% of whom were still employed 12 months after the end of the programme and with 50 % having landed an indefinite contract.

The success of Generation in Spain has seen McKinsey’s Alejandro Beltrán marked out for special praise at the 2017 Seres Awards. Beltrán is a Senior Partner in McKinsey's Madrid office, and leads the firm’s work across the Iberian Peninsula. Since joining McKinsey in 1998, Beltrán has worked with leading Spanish and international corporations, particularly on strategy and corporate finance, and has advised key public institutions on macroeconomic and policy issues.

Related: McKinsey's Generation records tremendous success in Kenya (article on