Online Discussion: What can business do to help young people acquire the right skills to transition into good jobs?

Unemployment is a global problem, and young people are particularly badly affected.  Youth unemployment rates are twice as high as for older workers.  Around one third of global youth – over 620 million young people – are not in employment, education or training.  This represents an enormous lost opportunity and has serious long-term impacts not only for those young people but also for their societies and economies.  In countries where the population is getting younger there is an even more urgent need to create many more jobs for the growing number of young people needing decent work. It therefore comes as no surprise that accelerating youth employment is identified as a priority within the Sustainable Development Goals.

Youth unemployment is a complex problem with many underlying causes.  Among them is the widely recognised fact that many young people lack the right skills to help them transition out of education and into a good first job, or onto vocational training courses or further education. Companies wanting to grow into new markets and wishing to recruit locally report that they often struggle to find suitable candidates with the right skills. This skills gap comprises not only hard skills, ranging from basic from numeracy and literacy to specific technical skills; but also so-called soft skills and attributes. For the private sector, a skilled workforce is critical to productivity, innovation and growth.  Estimates suggest that globally up to 38% of employers cannot fill their vacancies due to a lack of the necessary skills.

Location: Online

Date: Wednesday, November 9, 2016