World Youth Skills Day and the Importance of Youth Skills Development
World Youth Skills Day, celebrated annually on the 15th of July, is a global initiative highlighting the importance of equipping young people with essential skills. It’s a call for educators, guardians, mentors, training providers, and more to ensure youth are getting the skills they need to be successful. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at World Youth Skills Day, why youth skills development is so important, and how individuals and organisations can support young people around the world as they acquire and build new skills for the future.
What Is World Youth Skills Day?
Initiated by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014, World Youth Skills Day is committed to advocating for the necessity of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and similar programs. This move was a response to the burgeoning youth unemployment crisis, with millions of young individuals worldwide struggling to secure stable employment due to insufficient skills.
In the years since its inception, World Youth Skills Day has played an integral role in inspiring dialogues and strategies geared towards youth skills development. It is an important occasion for sharing best practices, innovative approaches, and fostering partnerships that empower young people to succeed in a rapidly evolving world.
Wondering how to celebrate World Youth Skills Day and contribute to the cause? World Youth Skills Day activities can include:
- Workshops and seminars: Organise or participate in workshops that teach vocational skills, digital literacy, or entrepreneurship.
- Career counselling sessions: These can provide insights into various career paths and the skills required for each.
- Online campaigns: Harness social media platforms to raise awareness about the importance of youth skills development. Share articles like this one to help spread the word and promote skill building for youth.
The Importance of Youth Skills Development
The development of youth skills is more critical today than ever before. In an age marked by technological advancements and rapid global change, the economy demands an adaptable, innovative, and skilled workforce. By honing their unique talents and strengths, young people can meet this challenge and actively contribute to economic growth and social progress.
Important skills for youth development include:
- Behavioural skills and mindsets: Commonly known as “soft skills,” these essential competencies include communication, teamwork, problem solving, and emotional intelligence.
- Digital literacy: Understanding and effectively using technology is a necessity in today’s digital age. Whether pursuing work in the tech industry or not, digital skills are immensely important for navigating new technology, connecting with others, and gathering and analysing information.
- Entrepreneurship: This promotes innovation, creativity, and self-reliance, which are essential for economic growth.
- Leadership: This gives young individuals the ability to influence, inspire, and drive change. Examples of youth leadership development include participating in student councils, volunteering in community services, or spearheading social campaigns.
- Sustainability: With increasing emphasis on climate change and environmental conservation, knowledge and skills in sustainability can offer an edge, particularly for green jobs.
Youth Skills Development and the Future Workforce
As we look towards the future, the need for a skilled, diverse, and adaptable workforce becomes apparent. Youth skills development is integral to this vision, bridging the gap between education and work, empowering young people to succeed in their chosen career paths, and reducing the risk of unemployment.
Furthermore, these skills don’t just benefit the individuals who learn them, but society as a whole. The World Bank reports that skills development “can reduce un- and underemployment, increase productivity, and improve standards of living.” In this way, youth skills development can champion social justice, combat economic inequality, and create pathways to positive change in the future.
Helping Youth Develop Skills for Success
Supporting youth in developing their skills is a shared responsibility that involves parents, teachers, mentors, and communities at large. Individuals and organisations can support youth skills development by creating safe and supportive environments, promoting digital literacy, offering mentorship and guidance, and more. One key way to support youth skills development is through educational opportunities.
Here at Generation, we offer those opportunities in the form of free employment programmes that are held online and offline in 17 countries worldwide. Through our programmes, youth can access training, support, and a path to meaningful employment in various sectors, from the tech industry to skilled trades, green jobs, and more.
Employment programmes like ours can support youth skill building by:
- Working closely with employers to understand what skills are needed
- Providing repeated, intensive hands-on practice opportunities
- Integrating technical and behavioural skills and mindsets
- Providing mentorship and social supports
- Connecting them directly with employer
World Youth Skills Day is more than an annual celebration. It’s a global commitment to ensuring that our young people are equipped with the skills necessary for a successful and fulfilling future. By advocating for, investing in, and implementing youth skills development, we create a strong foundation for a sustainable and prosperous future where everyone has the opportunity to thrive.
At Generation, our mission is to train, support, and place people into otherwise inaccessible career opportunities that can change their lives. Explore our employment programmes to see how we can help you, or donate today to help us create career opportunities for our learners and build new skills for the future!