The clothing brand wants the “unemployee of the year” campaign to draw attention to record levels of youth unemployment globally.

In a bid to “assert a belief in the creativity of the world’s youth”, Benetton is calling on 18-30 year olds in ads on MTV, online and in print to submit project ideas that will benefit their local communities. The 100 projects with the most public votes will win €5000 (£4027) funding.

A self-proclaimed “ironic” marketing campaign featuring “non-employed” 18-30 year olds from around the world wearing business suits will support the initiative.

It is the latest campaign to support Benetton’s “Unhate Foundation”, setup last year to “promote a culture of non-hate”. Ads to launch the foundation showed political and religious leaders from different divides kissing. One, featuring Pope Benedict XVI kissing an Egyptian imam, was withdrawn after a threat of legal action from the Vatican.