There are more youth on the planet than ever before. These young people are poised with all of the potential and energy to be our next generation of leaders, workers and parents.
There are 1.8 billion young people around the world, making up a quarter of the global population. They are the workforce of the future, yet 58 million of them are not even able to attend primary school. How can young people help themselves, both practically and professionally? How can developing countries reduce youth unemployment and realise their full potential? How could youth leaders make a difference?
World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) was established by the United Nations in 2014 to raise greater awareness of the importance of technical and vocational education for young people who need to develop relevant and marketable skills. July 15 is the World Youth Skills Day, observed yearly. The theme for this year is “Skills Development to Improve Youth Employment”. Understanding what works to support young people in today’s and tomorrow’s labour market through training and skills development, will be the main key to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Skills development is a primary means of enabling young people to make a smooth transition to work. We need to develop the 21st century skills, which are: critical thinking, problem solving creativity, collaboration and digital literacy through ultimate learning re-skilling and up-skilling programmes.
A high level of youth unemployment and underemployment is an acute problem. Majority of young people, who cannot be employed, live in the developing countries. Recognition of this problem and implementation of different programmes is aimed at enhancement of youth’s ability to make informed life and work choices. More than 61 million jobs have been lost since 2008, resulting in more than 200 million people unemployed word wide. The youth unemployment rate is nearly 3 times higher than the rest of the population that is why is vital to raise awareness about the importance of investing in the development of youth skills.
WYSD is in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which proposed two goals on education and skills for employment: Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, and Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
The World Assembly of Youth (WAY) seeks to generate greater awareness of and discussion on the importance of technical, vocational education, and training and the development of other skills relevant to both local and global economies. Our vocation is to contribute in reducing unemployment and underemployment among the youth across the globe. It shall highlight youth skills development to draw attention to the critical need for marketable skills.
To WAY, this day serves as an opportunity to highlight the importance of youth skills development. We recognize and support projects and initiatives that seek to equip young people with the right tools and resources that will further develop their capacity. This shall enable young people to obtain decent work in a sustainable low carbon world and help them address global challenges in particular, poverty eradication. We urge NGOs and other relevant stakeholders to identify areas of skilling and vocational training that need improvement and encourage the unemployed youth to adopt their own entrepreneurship for self-sufficiency.
You can join the celebration for the first-ever World Youth Skills Day by sharing your experiences and ideas using the hash tag #WYSD or #WYSD2016 on social media.
Happy World Youth Skills Day!