The World Youth Skills Day is observed annually on 15 July and focuses on the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship. The goal is to achieve better socio-economic conditions for today’s youth, as a means of addressing the challenges of unemployment and under employment. This day will highlight the resilience and creativity of youth through the crisis.
Prior to the current crisis, young people aged 15-24 were three times more likely than adults to be unemployed and often faced a prolonged school-to-work transition period. In post-pandemic societies, young people are called upon to contribute to the recovery effort, and they will need to be equipped with the skills to successfully manage evolving challenges and the resilience to adapt to future disruptions.
The theme for the World Youth Skills Day 2021 is “Reimagining youth skills post-pandemic”, which aims to celebrate the resilience and creativity of youth throughout the crisis and focus attention on how technical and vocational education and training (TVET) systems have adapted to the pandemic, participate in the recovery, and imagine priorities they should adopt for the post-COVID-19 world.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues, reaching a scale that could hardly have been anticipated one year ago. Rising youth unemployment is one of the most significant problems facing economies and societies in today’s world, for developed and developing countries alike. That is why education and training are key determinants of success in the labour market. But unfortunately, existing systems are failing to address the learning needs of many young people. Skills and jobs for youth feature prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and SDG target 4.4 calls for a substantial increase in the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills.
We, at the World Assembly of Youth (WAY), work towards empowering and inspiring youth from all around the globe to become active and proactive in their communities of their countries. We also help equip young people with opportunities through volunteerism to work for the elevation of youth and the development of youth leaders who are willing to donate their precious time and valuable energy not only to support and achieve their goals but also bring significant impact for the benefits of their community and humanity. We, WAY and all stakeholders, need to equip youth with the skills required to access the world of work, including skills for self-employment.
In this context, TVET is expected to address the multiple demands of an economic, social and environmental nature by helping youth and adults develop the skills they need for employment, decent work, entrepreneurship, promoting equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and supporting transitions to green economies and environmental sustainability. We recognise and applaud young people that continue to showcase their adaptability at this challenging time and we encourage them to continue remaining innovative and resilient.