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.
Why is World Youth Skills Day important?
Rising youth unemployment is one of the most significant problems facing economies and societies in today’s world, for developed and developing countries alike. At least 475 million new jobs need to be created over the next decade to absorb the 73 million youth currently unemployed and the 40 million new annual entrants to the labour market. At the same time, OECD surveys suggest that both employers and youth consider that many graduates are ill-prepared for the world of work. Attaining decent work is a significant challenge. In many countries, the informal sector and traditional rural sector remains a major source of employment. The number of workers in vulnerable employment currently stands at 1.44 billion worldwide. Workers in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia account for more than half this number, with three out of four workers in these regions subject to vulnerable employment conditions. The international community has set an ambitious 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It calls for an integrated approach to development which recognises that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions; combating inequality within and among countries; preserving the planet; creating inclusive and sustainable economic growth; achieving full and productive employment and decent work for all women and men, and ensuring full gender equality and fostering social inclusion, are interdependent.