Skip to main content

14 July 2014

Increasing youth employability


The issues related to global youth unemployment are real. While WorldSkills cannot reverse the statistics, it can be proactive in preventing them from growing, and work to decrease the numbers by changing behaviors. To find solutions, we must first understand the problems and barriers to the employability of youth.

According to a report by the International Labour Office (ILO), a mismatch between the labour market requirements and their education and training is a key reason why youth have difficulty finding jobs.

Innovation, technology and market developments have turned the world of work into a fast-changing environment. This environment requires education that can build on general technical and core skills to minimize time lags between emerging skill needs and the provision of adequate training.

Obstacles for youth at risk include absence of education and training related to tuition, travel, and language barriers.

The ILO says that the world faces a need to create 600 million jobs over the next ten years. The social and economic consequences associated with this challenge are serious depending on success or failure.

So, what comes first, developing skills or job creation? Both are needed to address youth unemployment.

Employers are looking for employees who have basic soft skills, technical or specialized skills, and core work skills or key competencies. They want to know that the person they are hiring has the ability to learn the job.

Youth who have a quality education and post-secondary practical training, coupled with a set of key competencies, have a higher employability rate. For youth who do not have easy access to these skill development opportunities, they can rely on local resources for career guidance, job search assistance, and community volunteer openings.

WorldSkills provides a global platform for employers and educators to engage youth on the topics of skills development, career information, and the benefits of training for and entering a skilled career. WorldSkills works to connect youth with the opportunities to enhance their skills that will increase their employability.