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Advancing Youth Skills for Sustainability and Innovation

Today there are 1.2 billion people aged 15-24 in the world, and these young people are arguably part of the most educated and innovative generation that has ever existed. Many youth are growing up in a more connected world, with instant access to information and technology. To the extent possible, young people are leveraging the potential of technological advancements for innovative environment, economic, and social development. It was against this backdrop that the UN General Assembly in December 2014 declared 15 July as World Youth Skills Day.

The 4th Industrial Revolution, characterized by advancements in technology including Artificial Intelligence (AI), big data and machine learning has greatly changed the nature of work. The World Programme of Action on Youth (WPAY), highlighted information and communications technology as a priority area for youth development, and since its adoption, there is a higher demand for digital and soft skills. However, the lack of skills coupled with skills erosion and mismatch have become the norm for today’s youth who are entering the global workforce.

The current generation of youth are exploring their own interests with more flexibility and innovation in pursuit of finding more sustainable and innovative ways to contribute to a sustainable future. Youth are increasingly adopting social entrepreneurship and social enterprises to address different challenges from climate change, food security, green jobs, education etc. potentially contributing to the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, there is need for greater support to advance and invest in youth skills in both the formal and informal sectors to promote sustainability, innovation and economic security especially for those transitioning from school to work.

For more information: World Youth Skills Day


 
 
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