Youth Skills Day: Governments urged to address skills gap

Female student looking up in classroom


Kids at school in Robotics class(source Getty Images)

Countries have been urged to address the skills gap in the design of their education and training systems, with a focus on technical and vocational skills as the world marks Youth Skills Day.

“Emphasis must be put on lifelong learning, as a key difference from traditional education and training systems, as skills required today may become obsolete for tomorrow’s jobs,” Moustapha Kamal Gueye, Head of the International Labour Organization’s Green Jobs Programme, said

The United Nations says rising youth unemployment is one of the most significant problems facing economies and societies in today’s world, for both developed and developing countries.

There are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years worldwide, representing 16 percent of the global population, and according to the UN, engaging young people in sustainable development efforts is paramount to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The UN also said getting young people involved in sustainable development efforts will help address threats and challenges including the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict and migration.

Laetitia Zobel from the UN Environment Civil Society Unit also working with youth, said the private sector in collaboration with governments and faith-based organizations could assist in providing the relevant qualifications needed for the growing green job markets.

“Young people are also driving change towards more sustainable lifestyles, healthier living, consumption and production,” she added.

It was noted that it is important for young people to have foundational skills and transferable skills that can be applied in various fields and practices.

That education systems tend to be theoretical, and young people don’t have sufficient opportunities for practice, linking what they learn with the realities in the world of work.

Globally, opportunities to tackle air pollution, the renewable energy sector and advances in information and communication technology will become more prevalent, creating opportunities for millions of new jobs in the green economy.