The International Labour Organization (ILO) commemorates World Youth Skills Day on the 15 July of each year. But why is this commemoration important?
World Youth Skills Day, is organized to draw attention to the opportunities and challenges facing young people’s employment. According to the ILO, the pandemic has left 1 in 6 young people out of work, while those still working have seen their working hours drop by an average of 23%.
Rising youth unemployment is one of the most significant problems facing economies and societies in today’s world, for developed and developing countries alike.
World Youth Skills Day 2021 will celebrate the resilience and creativity of youth throughout the crisis. One of the main focus areas for World Youth Skills Day is to highlight the importance of technical and vocational education and training (TVET)* as a way of helping meet the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 4** – “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
TVET can equip youth with the skills required to access the world of work, including skills for self-employment thus reducing access barriers to the world of work, for example through work-based learning and ensuring that skills gained are recognised and certified. It can also offer skills development opportunities for low-skilled people who are under- or unemployed, out of school youth and individuals not in education, employment and training (NEETs).
Sadly, despite its importance, access to TVET services may depend on where you live (i.e. developed vs. underdeveloped communities) and your relative income status, thus further adding to the challenges facing the youth.
With the COVID-19 Pandemic and lockdowns, distance training and education has become the most common way of imparting skills. While this is a solution for ensuring that education continues, it has a number of challenges such as:
World Youth Skills Day 2021 will again take place in a challenging context. The COVID-19 pandemic continues, reaching a scale that could hardly have been anticipated a year ago, resulting in the widespread disruption of all sectors, including the TVET sector.
The continued closures to schools and workplaces, disruptions to training and education continue to have devastating effects for youth skills development and has resulted in learning and training losses. This, in turn, has made major life-cycle millstones/transitions difficult if not impossible for some youth who have not been able to complete their education or graduate from secondary or tertiary education and thus unable to enter the labour market. This makes it more critical for young people to be equipped with the necessary education and skills required for entry into successful employment.
Education and training play a key role in fostering the resilience required of young people, therefore, it is crucial for all stakeholders to ensure the continuity of skills development and to introduce training programmes to bridge skills gaps, which have widened further as a result of the pandemic. Solutions have needed to be reimagined in a way that considers not only the realities of the present, but also the full range of possibilities for the future.
World Youth Skills Day is an opportunity for young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, and public and private sector stakeholders to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.
The objectives of the World Youth Skills Day 2021 events are intended to:
Despite the challenges faced by young workers in the retail motor industry, we can use World Youth Skills Day 2021 to reflect on all of the small actions we can each take to overcome the challenges facing the youth. This is also a wonderful opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the resilience and innovation of our youth!
MISA continues to support young workers within the retail motor industry through a variety of skills development and training initiatives which are intended to help them to navigate workplace challenges. For more information on MISA’s soft skills training and study assistance benefits, please contact MISA on 011 476 3920 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*TVET (Technical and Vocational Education and Training) is education and training which provides knowledge and skills for employment. It prepares learners for a specific job, a number of employment possibilities, or for self-employment serves multiple purposes. This takes the form of learning and developing work related skills and mastery of underlying knowledge and scientific principles.
**The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals, are a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that by 2030 all people enjoy peace and prosperity. There are 17 SDG’s that were adopted by the United Nations in 2015
This article contains information from the International Labour Organization: