In 2014, the UN General Assembly designated July 15 as World Youth Skills Day to celebrate the importance of teaching young people the skills they need for decent work and entrepreneurship. Since then, World Youth Skills Day events have provided a unique opportunity for dialogue among young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, firms, employers’ and workers’ organizations, policymakers and development partners.
World Youth Skills Day 2022 takes place against the backdrop of concerted efforts for social and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and addressing issues such as climate change, conflict, persistent poverty, growing inequality, rapid technological change, demographic transition and others.
Young women and girls, young people with disabilities, young people from poor families, rural communities, indigenous peoples and minority groups, and those suffering the effects of violent conflict and political instability continue to be excluded by a combination of factors. In addition, the crisis has accelerated several transitions that were already taking place in the labor market, which add new uncertainties about the skills and competencies that will be in demand after the pandemic.
UN organizations, such as the UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNEVOC), have the potential to address these challenges by reducing barriers to labour market access, providing recognition and certification of skills acquired, and providing skills development opportunities for out-of-school youth and those who are not in employment, education or training. During the Decade of Action for the 2030 Agenda, the full inclusion of youth in global processes is vital to bring about positive change.
Why is World Youth Skills Day important?
Rising youth unemployment is one of the greatest challenges facing society in today’s world, in both developed and developing countries. According to the latest Global Youth Employment Trends 2020: Technology and the Future of Work, there has been an increase in the number of young people not in the workforce and not in education or skills since 2017.
In 2016, there were 259 million young people in this category. They are estimated to reach 267 million in 2019 and are projected to continue to grow to about 273 million in 2021. As a percentage, there has also been some growth in that number, from 21.7 percent in 2015 to 22.4 percent in 2020. This means that the goal of reducing this rate by 2020 will not be met.
Approved by the General Assembly in 2014, World Youth Skills Day is an opportunity to highlight the importance of teaching young people the skills they need for decent jobs and entrepreneurship.