Youth unemployment is a big problem all around the world today. Young people are three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and over 75 million young people around the world are looking for a job.
The United Nations created an e-discussion about youth employment where 1,100 young people participated with their wiews on the subject. They found some interesting results:
Many of the young people that participated in the discussion shared the same concerns. They questioned the quality of education. Whethet or not it is relevant to available jobs and how their knowledge and skills will be usefull in the long term. Also the participants viewed many higher educational systems as inadequatly tailored to the actual needs of the labour market. They said that formal education often are very theoretical which leaves the students ill prepared and lacking necessary skills for coming jobs. Some students even consequently delay their entry into the job market to continue their studies or seek low level jobs. Therefor more and better links are needed between schools and employers.
It was also revealed thet young people are using a rang of tools for jobsearching but that social networking are the most valuable source of career information and guidance. The majority of the participants were engaged in some kind of activitie, such as internship programs or volunteer positions just to have something to do and gain experience. A point that was emerged strongly is that young people prefer to be active rather than just “sitting around”.
The participants also said that a decent job is a marker of adulthood, independence and active citizenship. Yet the lack of decent jobs today is hindering this period of transition for young people and their future economic participation. Participants expressed worries related to job insecurity, short term contracts, low wages, amidst rising costs of living and difficulties in obtaining adequate practical work experience. This could lead to debts, including student loans and family well-being
The conclusion of this e-discussion was that despite the current youth employment challenge, most young people are makers rather than breakers. Although many youth conveyed a lack of confidence in their futures, there remains – nonetheless – hope.
The UN means that societies cannot afford to neglect young people and their skills, knowledge, energy and potential. They cannot expect young people to study hard and work hard as the traditional means to decent work and success, amidst diminishing evidence of its effectiveness. Young people require financial and social investments to fulfill their potential, to transition into adulthood and to be active and engaged citizens. Decent jobs not only contribute to young people’s lifetime employment success, they have a proven multiplier effect on family well-being, the health of national economies and societies at large.
As one of the participants said: We want to make a difference. We want a chance to work. We want to prove ourselves.”
Do you recognise yourself in any of the above mentioned points?