World Youth Skills Day 2020
World Youth Skills Day: According to the United Nations (UN), young people are reported to be three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and they are continuously exposed to jobs of lower quality, inequalities in the greater labor market, and experience longer, more insecure school-to-work transitions. In addition to that, women are more likely to be underemployed, underpaid, and to undertake part-time jobs or work under temporary contracts.
That’s why education and training are the keys to success in the labour market. Unfortunately, the existing systems are ineffective to address the learning needs of the youth, and surveys show that a large number of youth have low levels of achievement in basic literacy and numeracy. Skills and jobs for the youth is a prominent feature in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and SDG target 4.4 demands a substantial increase in the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills.
World Youth Skills Day
The 15th of July was declared as World Youth Skills Day by the UN in 2014. It was aimed towards establishing better socio-economic conditions for the youth, for addressing issues like unemployment and underemployment. To raise awareness on the importance of investing in youth skills development and making them more employable, the UN General Assembly decided to celebrate the first World Youth Skills Day on 15th July 2015.
Why world youth skills day is important?
In today’s world, the rising youth unemployment is one of the most significant problems that economies and societies are facing. It’s a common problem for both developed and developing countries alike. The latest’ Global Employment Trends for Youth 2020: Technology and the future of jobs’ shows that since 2017, there has been an increase in the number of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET).
In 2016, about 259 million young people were reportedly classified as NEET – a number that rose to an estimated 267 million in 2019 and is projected to continue climbing to around 273 million in 2021. In terms of percentage, the trend has been increased from 21.7% in 2015 to 22.4% in 2020.
And the current pandemic situation has made things worse. Young people between the ages of 15 to 24 are three times more likely to be unemployed and often faced extended school-to-work transition period.
Currently, more than 1 in 6 young people are out of work due to COVID-19., as most young people are called for the recovery efforts, they will need to be equipped with appropriate skills to successfully manage evolving challenges and the resilience to adapt to future disruptions.
World Youth Skills Day 2020
The World Youth Day 2020 is set to take place in challenging premises. The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown measures taken by various governments worldwide have led to the closure of vocational education, technical and training (TVET) institutions, threatening the continuity of skills development.
According to the data collected through a survey conducted by UNESCO, the TVET institutions, the International Labour Organization (ILO), and the World Bank, reported that distance training had become the most efficient way of skill development training, especially with difficulties regarding curricula adaptation, trainee and trainer preparedness, connectivity, or assessment and certification processes, among several others.
The World Youth Skills Day 2020, with its prime focus on the theme of resilience, will address the impacts of the COVID-19 crisis on skills development and explore different strategic approaches in response to the present economic crisis. This aims to prepare the youth with the capacities to respond to rapid changes in employment and entrepreneurship in the sectors that are hardest hit by the crisis. It means adapting skills development systems to changes in the world economy that the pandemic and recession is expected to bring. Starting from the countries such as – Portugal and Sri Lanka’s Permanent Missions to the UN, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, UNESCO, and ILO, organize this prestigious event.
What is the role of Education and Training?
Education and training are essential to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The vision of the ‘Incheon Declaration: Education 2030’ is fully captured by Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4) “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. ‘Education 2030’ puts considerable attention to skills development, specifically in providing access to affordable Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
Moreover, the acquisition of technical and vocational skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship and the elimination of gender disparity and ensuring access for the vulnerable. Furthermore, TVET is expected to address the multiple economic, social and environmental demands by allowing the youth and adults to develop the necessary skills needed for employment and entrepreneurship, promoting equitable and sustainable economic growth, and supporting transitions to environmental sustainability and green economies.
TVET can also improve agility to adapt the changing skill-demands by companies and communities, increase productivity and help increase wage levels. Moreover, TVET can effectively reduce access barriers to the world of work, for example, through work-based learning, and ensuring that skills gained are recognized and certified. Furthermore, TVET can offer skills development opportunities for low-skilled people who are unemployed or, underemployed, out of school youth and individuals not in education, employment and training (NEETs).
According to the India skills report in 2014, only about 33% of the students were employable. According to a report by Aspiring Minds, which is an Employability Assessment Company, claimed that 95 per cent of engineers in the country were not fit for software development jobs. Industry veterans have also echoed a similar notion, CP Gurnani, CEO & MD of Tech Mahindra said that 94% of the engineering graduates were not fit for hire.
The Hon’ble Prime minister officially launched skill India or The National Skill Development Mission of India on 15th July 2015 on the occasion of World Youth Skills Day. The mission has been developed to standardize skill training activities across different sectors and states. Furthermore, the mission would expedite decision making across sectors to achieve skilling at scale with speed and standards. It will be implemented through an institutional mechanism driven by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship (MSDE). To achieve the objective, the fundamental institutional arrangements have been broken into three tiers which include, a Government Council for policy guidance at the apex level, a Steering Committee, and a Mission Directorate which acts as the executive arm of the Mission.
Three other institutions will support the Mission Directorate; they are – National Skill Development Agency (NSDA), National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC), and Directorate General of Training (DGT) – all of which will have horizontal linkages with Mission Directorate to provide smooth functioning of the national institutional mechanism. Seven sub-missions have also been proposed for achieving overall adjectives of the mission; they are (i) Institutional Training, (ii) Infrastructure, (iii) Convergence, (iv) Trainers, (v) Overseas Employment, (vi) Sustainable Livelihoods, (vii) Leveraging Public Infrastructure.
The prime objective of the programme is to provide adequate training in market-relevant skills to more than 40 crore youth by 2022. Furthermore, it aims to create opportunities for the development of talent within the country and improve the underdeveloped sectors. It is assisted by the National Skill Development Corporation or NSDC. Skill India will include courses on various skills, namely – Management and development programmes, Entrepreneurship development programmes, Skill development programmes, Accreditation program for EM trainers, technology infusion, etc.
Unemployment, under-employment, low labor wages are seen in every part of the world; the present pandemic situation has only worsened that. The World Youth Skills Day will work as a bridge in bringing young people, representatives of Member States, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and the public and private sectors, workers, policy-makers and development partners together. Therefore it is an excellent initiative taken by UNESCO-UNEVOC to address these issues and strategically take actions in order to tackle them as effectively as possible.
Moreover, it sparked a light in other countries as well, to do their part in contributing to this mission, “Skill India’ program is one such example. It will enable the youth to have proper skill development relevant to the market, making them more employable and it will also help in the development of youth at a proper grass root level, making sure trained Indians join the workforces, achieve better results at a quicker pace and potentially boost the economic growth of the country.
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