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Tackling youth unemployment through TVET - 25 June to 9 July 2013

Introduction | Messages | ParticipantsSign up-->

Virtual conference on youth and skills

UNEVOC e-Forum, 25 June to 9 July 2013


Around the world, the number of young people has been increasing, with the world’s population aged 15-24 estimated to have reached over 1 billion in 2010. At the same time, youth unemployment rates have also been increasing. The ILO estimates that young people are now three times more likely than adults to be unemployed. According to the 2012 EFA Global Monitoring Report Youth and Skills: Putting education to work, one in eight young people are unemployed. Since young people comprise a large and growing proportion of the world’s working-age population, their employment prospects affect future economic growth, both in their countries and globally.

Quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is widely recognized as having an important role to play in tackling youth unemployment. TVET’s orientation towards the world of work and the acquisition of employability skills means that it is well placed to address issues such as skills mismatch that have impeded smooth school-to-work transitions for many young people. In the words of UNESCO’s Director-General Irina Bokova: “We are witnessing a young generation frustrated by the chronic mismatch between skills and work. The best answer to the economic downturn and youth unemployment is to ensure that young people acquire the basic skills and relevant training they need to enter the world of work with confidence.” UNESCO-UNEVOC has made the topic of youth and skills, and particularly school-to-work transition and entrepreneurship education, one of its key thematic priorities for 2013-14 and is therefore pleased to announce that the next virtual conference will be looking to address the big question on how TVET can tackle youth unemployment globally.

The virtual conference will take place from 25 June to 9 July 2013 on the UNEVOC e-Forum, and will be moderated by Dr Gita Subrahmanyam, Research Associate with the London School of Economics Public Policy Group and a Senior Consultant at the African Development Bank. Gita has extensive experience as a policy consultant to international organizations and government agencies. Her economic brief for the African Development Bank, titled ‘Tackling Youth Unemployment in the Maghreb’, was published in 2011 just as the Arab Spring was unfolding. Since that time, Gita has been invited to participate in several bilateral meetings with North African governments to provide advice on youth employment initiatives. Gita will be moderating in collaboration with Katerina Ananiadou, Programme Specialist at UNESCO-UNEVOC and focal point for UNEVOC’s youth-related activities. Both are looking forward hearing from participants about ‘what works’ when delivering TVET programmes for engaging young people with the labour market.

The 2-week discussion aims to collect knowledge, experiences, innovative ideas and promising practices in TVET which aim specifically at tackling youth unemployment. The discussion will look to identify the factors that promote youth employment, touching upon the role of entrepreneurship education and school-to-work transition. UNESCO-UNEVOC is calling for e-Forum members and the global TVET community to share their experiences, practices and concerns on this issue and is looking forward to hearing from policy makers, researchers, practitioners and of course the young people themselves.

The contributions will be synthesized and summarized into a report, which will provide directions for future research and programme work in this field. Your active participation in the discussion would be most gratefully received and we strongly encourage you to circulate this announcement to your network.

Main questions for discussion

  • What is your experience of youth‐focused TVET, and what features – both in terms of programme design and external support mechanisms – do you think determine their success or failure in promoting youth employment?
  • What are the main challenges that TVET providers face in accessing accurate labour market intelligence, and what can TVET institutions do to improve their knowledge of the skills market?
  • What are the main impediments to widening TVET access and participation by disadvantaged (and often hard‐to‐reach) groups, and how can these problems be overcome?
  • What can TVET providers do to smooth education‐to‐employment transitions, and what is the role of career guidance and/or ‘transferrable skills’ in aiding these transitions?
  • In countries with slow job growth, entrepreneurship is often viewed as the main route to tackling youth unemployment. What are the opportunities and challenges related to teaching entrepreneurship skills in TVET, and what features do entrepreneurship programmes have to have in order to achieve their aims?
Read the background note

Participants are invited to read the background note for the virtual conference:

Tackling youth unemployment through TVET (Dr Gita Subrahmanyam, June 2013, pdf, 136 kb)

Watch the introduction video

The video was made by George Karachalios, who is part of the 'youth' cohort (he is 15 years old) and has recently completed his freshman year at Princeton High School in New Jersey, USA. This is the first video that George has edited since completing a course in Final Cut X, so he has been able to put his newly-acquired skills into practice!

List of resources

Presentations WebEx live teleconference

  • Presentation by Ashley Sims (Foundation for Technical Education, Switzerland)
  • Presentation by Akanksha Gulia (The Skills Academy, India)
Resources and links added by participants

How does it work

Once you have signed up and the conference has started, you will receive an opening email by the moderator, Gita Subrahmanyam. You can then reply to this message and will receive any contributions made by other conference participants. Note that all messages will be checked by UNEVOC before dissemination, so there may sometimes be delays, especially outside UNEVOC office hours (9am-5pm CET).

registration form to sign up for the conference. You will then be added to a conference mailing list and will receive all contributions via email.

Note that if you do not wish to receive email notifications, you can also participate using the online interface by logging on with your UNEVOC account. -->



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