World Youth Skills Day at UNESCO-UNEVOC

Inaugural WYSD hailed a success at UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre in Bonn

On 15 July 2015, some 50 youth attended UNESCO-UNEVOC’s celebration of the United Nations inaugural World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) at the UN Campus in Bonn. Declared in December 2014 by the UN General Assembly at the initiative of the Government of Sri Lanka, WYSD intends to raise awareness of the importance of investing in youth skills as a means of promoting employment and sustainable development. The United Nations in in Bonn and New York as well as dozens of UNESCO-UNEVOC Centres around the world marked the day with their own special celebrations. The inaugural programme at United Nations Headquarters in New York was simultaneously telecast in Bonn. For more details about the event in Bonn, and WYSD in general, see our page here.

In Bonn, the programme included a discussion that brought together a panel of distinguished youth:

  • Ms Carina Lange, the German Youth Delegate to the United Nations
  • Ms Elena Singer, Silver medalist at the WorldSkills 2013 Leipzig competition
  • Mr Max Dolge, competitor in the forthcoming WorldSkills 2015 São Paulo competition.
Together with the audience and with moderators Nick Nuttall, spokesperson of United Nations Climate Change (UNFCCC) and Alix Wurdak, informations associate at UNESCO-UNEVOC, the panel engaged in questions about what skills youth require for the future and whether university education provides sufficient skills for today’s job market.

The world of work is not just about university degrees” remarked one participant, who shared the value of technical and vocational education in providing him with skills that have enabled him to succeed in his area of work. One of the main conclusions of the discussion was that there is a serious skills shortage. “Nowadays” one participant explained “there are too many people with university degrees and too many people without formal training. There is nothing in between and it is not even clear if education today meets the current demands of the job market”.

In this respect, the role of technical and vocational education in helping bridge the skills gap was highlighted. Two of the panelists remarked that their apprenticeship education had not just prepared them well for work but to succeed: Elena Singer won a silver medal at the WorldSkills 2013 competition in Leipzig and Max Dolge is set to compete in the forthcoming WorldSkills 2015 in São Paulo in August.

Celebration of World Youth Skills Day at UNEVOC Centres

Many UNEVOC Centres seized the opportunity to celebrate the day. Some have shared their activities with us.

page date 2015-08-13

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