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Youth and skills


© UNDP in Europe and Central Asia
As the global community gears up for the Sustainable Development Agenda, a key priority is to ensure that the youth is equipped for the increasingly dynamic labour markets and enabled to pursue lifelong learning.

As per the International Labour Organization, currently 192 million people are unemployed globally, and the unemployment rate for youth surpasses that of adults. Furthermore, developing economies in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are estimated to host around 366 million new entrants to the labour market by 2030 . Global population trends indicate that youth accounts largely for a growing proportion of the total population. Estimations of global population place 42% below the age of 25, with almost 83 million people being added to the population every year. By 2030, as the global population is expected to reach 8.6 billion, the proportion of youth will be well over 50% (UNDESA).

In the wake of technological, environmental and demographic shifts, the challenge of creating jobs and livelihood opportunities is enormous. However, creating job opportunities without a responsive skills development of the youth for the world of work will exacerbate the skills mismatch and yield limited effect.

Youth and skills is one of the three main priorities of UNESCO’s TVET Strategy (2016-21) and UNESCO-UNEVOC’s Medium Term Strategy II (2018-2020). Our concerted actions remain focused on mainstreaming the role of TVET to counter the challenges of youth unemployment through responsive skills development.

Responsive skills development programmes need to ensure, not only the functional consistency with the demands from the world of work, but also the development of transversal skills and competencies that enable the youth to respond to changing demands of the industry.

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page date 2019-10-23

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