Why is World Youth Skills Day so Important?

  • July 15, 2020

  • New York, United States of America


World Youth Skills Day. In December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution declaring 15th July as World Youth Skills Day. The goal is to achieve better socio-economic conditions for today's youth as a means of addressing the challenges of unemployment and under employment.

Globally, one in five young people are NEET: Not in Employment, Education or Training. Three out of four of young NEETs are women, and almost two out of five young workers in emerging and developing economies live on less than US$3.10 a day. Whatsmore, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, currently more than 1 in 6 young people are out of work.

Rising youth unemployment is one of the most significant problems facing economies and societies in today’s world. Especially in Least Developed Countries (LDCs). The latest Global Employment Trends for Youth 2020: Technology and the future of jobs shows that since 2017, there has been an upward trend in the number of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET).

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.

Under the new Digital UNCDF Strategy, UNCDF is now channelling its experience to support the development and scaling up of digital innovations that empower young people and smoothen their transition to adulthood, with the specific objective of increasing the number of youth engaged in entrepreneurship, decent employment, school, or further education and training.

The Jobs, Skills and Finance (JSF) for Women and Youth in the Gambia programme, for example, is a UNCDF and International Trade Center (ITC) partnerships working on improving the employability of young people and help entrepreneurs seize opportunities. ITC offers technical and vocational skills programs to strengthen their offerings to better match the needs of businesses and to address the skills gap by promoting entrepreneurship among youth through business skills training and support programmes.