NEW YORK – Young people around the world are unable to identify or acquire the skills needed for today’s job market, which contributes to a global skills gap and worsens youth unemployment, according to a new report released today by Generation Unlimited, PwC and UNICEF.
Achieving YES: Meeting the Youth Jobs and Skills Challenge, notes that young people aged 15-24 are unable to identify the skills they need for future employment opportunities. Young people are also unable to access relevant vocational training, and employers do not have a standard way to verify the skills that new employees claim to have.
The report notes that there is a mismatch between education and training requirements and systems. For example, young people unable to access the Internet cannot access online training opportunities. When skills are learned, young people need a way to track them in a verifiable, accurate and secure way and to share them with employers.
âA global skills gap, economic decline and a job market that requires more complex and diverse skills than ever have contributed to a 12% drop in youth employment over the past two decades. Governments and businesses must come together to give today’s young people – future workers and employees – the skills and opportunities they need to access meaningful employment and thrive in today’s labor market. hui, âsaid Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of UNICEF.
âLooking at the world today, we see a huge mismatch between the skills of young people and those that employers need. Without opportunities to acquire the right skills, millions of young people will struggle to find jobs and risk being left behind. We cannot let this happen. This is why it is crucial that governments, businesses, educators and civil society leaders come together quickly more than ever to fill this gap. In doing so, we can begin to create lasting results for young people and more inclusive economies and societies, âsaid Bob Moritz, Global President of PwC.
âYoung people are on the brink of a precipice: The aggravated threats of growing inequalities, lack of opportunity and disruption from COVID-19 will have lifelong consequences for young people around the world. Business leaders, government ministers and civil society leaders must unite and join forces with young people to address the systemic challenges that prevent young people from reaching their full potential. The need is urgent, the time is right, and 1.8 billion young people are waiting, âsaid Kevin Frey, CEO of Generation Unlimited.
The report suggests four steps businesses and government leaders could take to address the skills gap and youth unemployment.
Create a skills mapping system to define skills, categories and ways to measure skills. The system must be scalable and adaptable to local and national applications. A skills tracking tool is essential to identify the gap and justify education and training opportunities.
Use in-company training to support a national driver of skills building. By combining elements of in-company training programs with a national government-led policy framework, stakeholders can help establish a high-quality, scalable and cost-effective national skills development program.
Build a national digital skills verification trust. Young people should be able to record and store skills development credentials easily and securely. Stakeholders can help by developing a central blockchain repository for acquisition tracking.
Develop regional and national skills forums to improve information sharing between key stakeholders, including employers, educators, governments, associations and young people.
The report notes that closing the skills gap requires âthe whole of societyâ. Partnerships between government, business, multilateral agencies and young people themselves are essential for success.
The collaboration between UNICEF and PwC formed in 2020 and supports the Reskilling Revolution Platform of the World Economic Forum, of which both are founding partners. The platform aims to provide better jobs, education and skills to one billion people over the next 10 years.
As part of this collaboration, PwC’s skills, expertise and resources support Generation Unlimited, a global partnership anchored in UNICEF, which works with young people so that they can successfully make the transition from education and training towards decent work. PwC and Generation Unlimited will bring together public, private and civil society actors to develop investment opportunities, programs and innovations that support young people on their journey to a productive future and engaged citizenship.