Left: Young Nigerian graduate Becky developed a great passion for baking cakes and pastries and decided to build a baking business after graduation. Right: Drum makers from the mountains of ed Arab Emirates are producing a traditional instrument.
Photo:UNESCO-UNEVOC/Ruth Oluniyi Pemisola (left), UNESCO-UNEVOC/Alejandro Marecos (right)

Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic

World Youth Skills Day 2021 will again take place in a challenging context due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

  • UNESCO estimates that schools were either fully or partially closed for more than 30 weeks between March 2020 and May 2021 in half the countries of the world. In late June, 19 countries still had full school closures, affecting nearly 157 million learners. And 768 million more learners were affected by partial school closures.
  • Respondents to a survey of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions jointly collected by UNESCO, the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the World Bank reported that distance training had become the most common way of imparting skills, with considerable difficulties regarding, among others, curricula adaptation, trainee and trainer preparedness, connectivity, or assessment and certification processes.
  • ILO estimates show that globally, youth employment fell 8.7 per cent in 2020, compared with 3.7 per cent for adults, with the most pronounced fall seen in middle-income countries. The consequences of this disruption to the early labour market experiences of youth could last for years.

World Youth Skills Day 2021 will pay tribute to the resilience and creativity of youth through the crisis. Participants will take stock of how TVET systems have adapted to the pandemic and recession, think of how those systems can participate in the recovery, and imagine priorities they should adopt for the post-COVID-19-world.

 

WYSD 2021 logo

Virtual Event - 15 July 2021

On 15 July, World Youth Skills Day, join an online interactive panel discussion organized by the Permanent Missions of Portugal and Sri Lanka to the United Nations, together with UNESCO, ILO and the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.

Why is World Youth Skills Day important?

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day, to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. Since then, World Youth Skills Day events have provided a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, firms, employers’ and workers’ organizations, policy makers and development partners. Participants have highlighted the ever-increasing significance of skills as the world is embarking on a transition towards a sustainable model of development.

What role do technical and vocational education and training play?

Education and training are central to the achievement of the 2030 Agenda. The vision of the Incheon Declaration: Education 2030 is fully captured by Sustainable Development Goal 4 “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”. Education 2030 devotes considerable attention to technical and vocational skills development, specifically regarding access to affordable quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET); the acquisition of technical and vocational skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship; the elimination of gender disparity and ensuring access for the vulnerable. In this context, 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.

TVET can equip youth with the skills required to access the world of work, including skills for self-employment. TVET can also improve responsiveness to changing skill-demands by companies and communities, increase productivity and increase wage levels. TVET can reduce access barriers to the world of work, for example through work-based learning, and ensuring that skills gained are recognised and certified. TVET can also offer skills development opportunities for low-skilled people who are under- or unemployed, out of school youth and individuals not in education, employment and training (NEETs).

 

BILT | New Qualifications and Competencies in TVET

The Bridging Innovation and Learning in TVET (BILT) project provides TVET institutions with a platform to explore and support the process of identification and implementation of new qualifications and competencies through an ecosystem approach.

TVET Youth Stories

skills in action

As young people continue to showcase their adaptability and resilience at this challenging time, UNESCO-UNEVOC is calling on all TVET youth to submit video stories of how they are coping and continuing to learn during lockdown. These stories will be shared as part of the campaign to mark World Youth Skills Day (WYSD) and highlight the importance of skills development for a resilient youth.

Tell us your story!

Lost in COVID-19 limbo-land: Pandemic hits youth employment hard

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected young people not only in terms of their participation in the labour market but also through severe disruptions in education and training. In this podcast, ILO senior youth employment experts Niall O’Higgins and Sher Verick analyze the current situation and where we are headed.

More young people are staying in school instead of entering the labour market at an early age. That’s good news. Yet more than 200 million young people are either unemployed or have a job but live in poverty. Explore this InfoStory to learn more about global employment trends for young people and what stands between them and a decent job.

As youth are increasingly demanding more just, equitable and progressive opportunities and solutions in their societies, the need to address the multifaceted challenges faced by young people (such as access to education, health, employment and gender equality) have become more pressing than ever.

A crowd of women sitting and laughing

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.