World Youth Skills Day

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World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) is celebrated every year on 15th of July. The United Nations, at its General Assembly in November 2014, declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day.

The UN designated day seeks to generate greater awareness of and discussion on the importance of technical, vocational education, and training and the development of other skills relevant to both local and global economies. It is hoped that it will contribute to reducing unemployment and underemployment among the youth across the globe. It will highlight youth skills development to draw attention to the critical need for marketable skills.

Background of this day

According to a recent International Labour Organization (ILO) publication, 71 million young people were estimated to be unemployed in 2015 (13.1% youth unemployment rate), and this figure is expected to increase in most regions by 2017.

One reason for youth unemployment is structural unemployment, a mismatch between the skills that workers in the economy can offer and the skills demanded of workers by employers. Structural unemployment affects all regions around the world and it impacts not only economies but also hampers the transition to equitable and inclusive societies envisaged in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and continuously exposed to lower quality of jobs, greater labor market inequalities, and longer and more insecure school-to-work transitions. In addition, women are more likely to be underemployed and under-paid, and to undertake part-time jobs or work under temporary contracts.

That is why education and training are key determinants of success in the labor market. But unfortunately, existing systems are failing to address the learning needs of many young people, and surveys of learning outcomes and skills show that a large number of youth have low levels of achievement in basic literacy and numeracy. Skills and jobs for youth feature prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and SDG target 4.4 calls for a substantial increase in the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills.

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