Prepare Today’s Youth For Tomorrow’s Skills

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Ishfaq Shafi 
At We are Futures, we’re passionate about mobilising the ambitions and skills of new generations to build a better future for themselves and for our world. We help organisations achieve this by future-proofing their businesses, developing skills, attitudes and competencies amongst young people and employees to feed their business and sector talent needs.

15 July we join with others to recognise the importance of developing the skills of young people on World Youth Skills Day 2019! Young people are vital to our futures and we believe championing their skill development through technical, vocational education, training and development will help close the well documented skills gap and ultimately help Skills Change Lives.

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With more than half a million companies struggling to fill vacancies, yet still high youth unemployment, businesses need to take a more active role in helping prepare young people with the skills and attitudes needed in the world of work. Beyond filling this skills gap, businesses need to constantly innovate and change to retain a competitive edge in a dynamic market and young people are uniquely placed to address both issues.In a world of rapid change, young people need the right mix of skills to thrive. Access to information is increasing, and memorizing facts is less important today than in the past. Although academic skills remain important, they are not sufficient to foster thoughtful, productive, and engaged citizens. Young people everywhere need to develop a greater breadth of skills to evaluate and apply knowledge in ways that meet the new demands of our changing social and economic landscape.
Skills like communication, teamwork, critical thinking, and flexibility have always been important for work and life. But they will be even more crucial for future generations. Rapid advances in technology are transforming the world of work, and by 2020 an estimated 83 million jobs around the globe will go unfilled due to lack of skills. We are also more connected than ever before, and complex global challenges such as climate change and health epidemics call for leaders and citizens who are able to collaborate with diverse groups to solve problems.Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population. The active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies by the target date, and to averting the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration. However, 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.

The Writer is columnist and can be reached at ishfaqshafi428@gmail.com

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