World Youth Skills Day

A young woman finds a sustainable way of making a living by acquiring new skills and by challenging gender norms. (Photo from UNESCO-UNEVOC/Amitava Chandra)

Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged between 15 and 24 years. They account for 16 per cent of the global population.

Today, July 15, the world marks “World Youth Skills Day.”

The active engagement of young people in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies. It can also avert the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration.

However, young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and are continuously exposed to lower quality of jobs, greater labor market inequalities, and longer and more insecure school-to-work transitions.

In addition, women are more likely to be underemployed and under-paid, and will likely undertake part-time jobs or work under temporary contracts.

Importance of World Youth Skills Day

World Youth Skills Day is very important.

Rising youth unemployment is one of the most significant problems facing economies and societies in today’s world, both in developed and developing countries.

At least 475 million new jobs need to be created over the next decade to absorb the 73 million youth currently unemployed and the 40 million new annual entrants to the labor market.

In a study, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development noted that both employers and the youth consider many new graduates as ill-prepared for the world of work. 

Attaining decent work is a significant challenge.

In many countries, the informal sector and the traditional rural sector remain a major source of employment. The number of workers in vulnerable employment currently stands at 1.44 billion worldwide.

Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia account for more than half this number, with three out of four workers in these regions subject to vulnerable employment conditions.

The international community has set an ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It calls for an integrated approach to development and recognizes the interdependence of:

  • the eradication of poverty in all its forms and dimensions;
  • combating inequality within and among countries; 
  • preserving the planet; 
  • creating inclusive and sustainable economic growth; 
  • achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men; 
  • and ensuring full gender equality and fostering social inclusion