World Youth Skills Day, observed on July 15th each year, is a global initiative aimed at highlighting the importance of equipping young people with the necessary skills for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship. This day serves as a platform to address the challenges faced by the youth in accessing quality education and training, and to foster their active participation in society. In this article, we will explore the theme for World Youth Skills Day 2023 and the role of technical and vocational education and training in shaping a transformative future.
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2. The Significance of World Youth Skills Day
Since its establishment in 2014 by the United Nations General Assembly, World Youth Skills Day has provided a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, educational institutions, employers, policymakers, and development partners. The strategic importance of skills development in the context of sustainable development has been widely recognized. This annual event raises awareness about the need to invest in youth skills development to overcome unemployment, poverty, and inequality.
3. The Theme for World Youth Skills Day 2023
The theme for World Youth Skills Day 2023 is “Skilling teachers, trainers, and youth for a transformative future.” This theme emphasizes the crucial role of teachers, trainers, and educators in providing skills training to young people. By equipping teachers and trainers with the necessary knowledge and competencies, we can enhance their ability to empower youth to transition into the labor market and actively engage in their communities.
4. The Role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
Technological advancements and shifting labor market dynamics require young people to possess agile and adaptable skill sets. Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) play a vital role in meeting these demands. TVET programs reduce access barriers to the world of work by providing relevant and certified skills training. They also promote green skills and practices, contributing to sustainable development.
TVET offers opportunities for skills development to youth who are not in education, employment, and training (NEET). By equipping young people with the skills required for self-employment, TVET fosters entrepreneurship and economic growth. Furthermore, TVET enhances responsiveness to changing skill demands, increases productivity, and supports transitions to green economies.
5. Uniting for a Prosperous and Sustainable Future
On World Youth Skills Day, it is crucial to recognize the potential of young people as catalysts for change. By investing in their skills and providing opportunities, we can build a prosperous and sustainable world where no young person is left behind. Together, we can shape a brighter future by empowering youth and equipping them with the tools they need to thrive in a rapidly evolving global landscape.
6. Events and Initiatives Surrounding World Youth Skills Day
Several events and initiatives are organized to commemorate World Youth Skills Day. These events bring together Member States, young experts, social partners, teachers, educators, and stakeholders to discuss and enhance the skills of teachers, trainers, and youth. The high-level panel, organized by the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Sri Lanka to the United Nations, in collaboration with UNESCO, ILO, and the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, is one such event. It aims to facilitate discussions on skills development for a transformative future.
7. Empowering Youth for a Sustainable Future
An event titled “Empowering youth for a sustainable future,” co-organized by UNESCO-UNEVOC and WorldSkills International, focuses on showcasing the positive impact of youth skills development on societies and economies. This event aims to empower young people to face the challenges of a changing global landscape through technical and vocational education and training.
8. Why World Youth Skills Day Matters
World Youth Skills Day is significant because it recognizes the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship. It provides a platform for stakeholders to engage in dialogue, share best practices, and find innovative solutions to address the challenges faced by youth in accessing education, training, and employment opportunities.
9. Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET)
Technical and vocational education and training (TVET) are central to achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. TVET helps develop the skills needed for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship. It promotes inclusive and sustainable economic growth and supports the transition to green economies. By reducing access barriers to the world of work and offering recognized and certified skills, TVET plays a vital role in empowering young people and ensuring their successful integration into the labor market.
10. Strawberries for Change: Young Farmer’s Challenge in Rural Gambia
In rural Gambia, a young farmer named Alhadgie Faal has embraced TVET and undergone training in vegetable production. With the knowledge and skills gained, he now runs a successful business that includes the cultivation of high-value vegetables and fruits, including strawberries. His story exemplifies the transformative power of skills development in empowering youth to create positive change in their communities.
11. Key Facts and Statistics
- Recent estimates indicate that 600 million jobs need to be created in the next 15 years to meet youth employment needs.
- The global number of unemployed youth is projected to reach 73 million in 2022.
- The share of youth not in employment, education, or training (NEET) rose to 23.3% in 2020.
- The youth population is expected to grow by over 78 million between 2021 and 2030, necessitating responsive education and training systems.
- Implementing green and blue policy measures could create an additional 8.4 million jobs for young people by 2030.
12. Youth Survey: Sharing Visions and Aspirations
A survey has been launched to gather insights from young people between the ages of 15 and 29. This survey aims to understand their visions, priorities, aspirations, challenges, concerns, and expectations regarding skills development. The gathered insights will contribute to discussions at a World Youth Skills Day hybrid event organized by UNESCO-UNEVOC and WorldSkills International.
13. Useful Links and Related Observances
For more information on World Youth Skills Day and related initiatives, the following links are available:
- Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth
- International Youth Day (12 August)
- International Year of Youth (2010)
- International Youth Year: Participation, Development, and Peace (1985)
14. Overcoming Challenges for Youth Employment
Youth face numerous challenges in accessing decent jobs. This InfoStory highlights the global employment trends for young people and explores the obstacles that stand between them and a decent job. By addressing these challenges and creating enabling environments for youth, we can promote inclusive and equitable economic growth.
World Youth Skills Day is a powerful platform to advocate for the importance of skills development for young people. By investing in technical and vocational education and training, empowering teachers and trainers, and providing opportunities for youth, we can build a transformative future. Let us unite in recognizing the potential of young people as change agents and work together to create a prosperous and sustainable world for all.