World Youth Skills Day 2019: Vocational education panacea for youth unemployment

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The global community Monday commemorated the 2019 World Youth Skills Day under the theme: “Learning to Learn for Life and Work.” The day is aimed at creating awareness on the significance of Technical, Vocational Education, and Training (TVET) as well as youth skills development in reducing unemployment amongst young people across the globe.

UN Secretary General António Guterres

In December 2014, the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in a resolution led by Sri Lanka adopted July 15, as World Youth Skills Day dedicated to raising global awareness on the need for individuals and governments to invest in youth skills development as a means of addressing the challenges of both unemployment and underemployment; the annual event was first celebrated on July 15, 2015.

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“TVET is expected to address the multiple demands of an economic, social and environmental nature by helping youth and adults develop the skills they need for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship, promoting equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and supporting transitions to green economies and environmental sustainability,”  says a statement published on the UN`s website in commemoration of the 2019 World Youth Skills Day.

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According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), young people between the ages of 15 and 24 are 3.5 times more likely to be unemployed compared to older adults. ILO say over 71 million young people are currently unemployed, with at least 40 % of the world`s active youth population either unemployed or living in poverty despite being employed. Moreover, Africa has the highest youth unemployment rate which is projected to exceed 30% this year.

Amongst others, the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4: “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all,” devotes considerable attention to technical and vocational skills development and training for decent work and employment. Thus, investment in technical, vocational and youth skills development is central to the realization of inclusive and equitable societies as envisioned by the UN 2030 agenda.

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