World Youth Skills Day - Equipping the youth for a dynamic future
15 Jul 2022Article
The United Nations General Assembly, in December 2014, adopted a resolution stating 15th July as the World Youth Skills Day. The aim of the resolution is to attain better socio-economic conditions for today’s youth. By this, they address the challenges of unemployment and under employment which mostly affects the youth. Young people are more prone to labour market inequalities, low quality jobs, insecure school-to-work transitions. Moreover, women are also under paid, under employed and are forced to take up part time jobs or work on temporary contracts. A mismatch in the economy between the skills that workers can offer, and the skills demanded of workers by employees proves to be a reason for youth unemployment and is a fact affecting all regions around the world. The World Youth Skills Day acts as a platform connecting young people, employers, training providers, policy makers and worker’s organisations and development partners.
There are several factors that influence the young people when seeking employment, the career choice they make. What youth needs in life is not connected with the jobs that are available. They take their first job as a steppingstone to the careers they seek. They take up the job and start earning and try to procure valuable skills. In the meantime, they study for the course related to the career they really aspire in life. First job therefore acts as a transition job helping to earn and support themselves while the focus remains on their long-term success. Youth prefer to work closer to home as much of their income is spent in taking care of everyday essentials. They are not able to contribute to savings. More jobs are coming up in the peri-urban areas (not urban, and not rural). While urban is still the hub for existing industries, expansion is taking place in peri-urban areas. These regions have thus become increasingly attractive for youth in fulfilling their desire for a better quality of life.
Technology provides a space for the youth to learn and relearn concepts and their relationship with technology has considerably changed over time. The youth have progressed from being on shared devices with family members where privacy and surveillance posed a major issue to being owners of their own devices where they are creators of knowledge and content. They share this content with peers and become influencers. The increased use of technology has its negative side too. A large proportion of youth are still in shadow as they do not have access to a computer, phone, or internet connection and this deprives them of opportunities as many new jobs are on the rise in sectors dealing with customer interaction and services. Jobs that require customer interaction in a physical space are not aspired by the youth since it is demanding more from them in terms of their external orientation and communication skills - the natural abilities that a lot of the young people are short of. Choosing a job isn’t a purely financial decision for the youth anymore. They need to know if dignity is linked with the job they take, if the working conditions are good, and if they have a supportive peer network base.
Theme for the World Youth Skills Day 2022 is “Transforming youth skills for the future”
The “Transforming youth skills for the future” aims to bring together youth, governments, UN agencies, private sector, and civil society representatives to analyse the impact of current crises on youth across the world and understand the necessary measures that must be taken to empower them to quickly adapt to the demands of an ever-changing world. It acts as a combined effort to bring together various stakeholders like youths, governments, UN agencies, private sector and civil society representatives for policy making in the right direction for youth skills upliftment.