Visual by: Kunal Kaustav Duwarah
July 15 is celebrated as World Youth Skills Day across the globe to make young people understand the importance of essential skill enhancement that will help them make informed choices regarding employment, work, and entrepreneurship.
This day is a United Nations designated event that provides a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, firms, employers’ and workers’ organizations, policymakers, and development partners.
The United Nations General Assembly declared July 15 as World Youth Skills Day in 2014. The day was marked to achieve the Incheon Declaration: Education 2030, which is a part of Sustainable Development Goal 4 that urges to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
World Youth Skills Day recognises the importance of equipping young people with skills that can help them in becoming entrepreneurs, find employment that offers them decent work. The occasion also provides an opportunity to bring skilled young individuals along with employers, development partners and policymakers on the same platform.
THEME AND CELEBRATION
World Youth Skills Day 2021 will take place in a challenging context, with the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the widespread disruption of the TVET sector. While vaccination rollouts offer some hope, technical and vocational education and training still has a long road to recovery, especially in those countries which continue to be overwhelmed by the spread of the disease. Youth skills development will face a range of unfamiliar problems emerging from a crisis where training has been disrupted in an unprecedented manner on a virtually universal scale.
Young people aged 15-24 are particularly exposed to the socio-economic consequences of the pandemic. School and workplace closures are leading to learning and training losses. Major life-cycle transitions are made difficult if not impossible, including graduation from general education or technical and vocational education and training at secondary or tertiary level, residential autonomy, and labour market insertion.
Technical and vocational education and training have a key role to play in fostering the resilience of young people. It is crucial for all stakeholders to ensure the continuity of skills development and to introduce training programmes to bridge skills gaps. Solutions need to be reimagined in a way that considers not only the realities of the present but also the full range of possibilities for the future.
India is a large country with an even larger population. Unlike many countries, it even has a big population of youth aged between 15 and 24, which makes it important for the country to make this proportion of the demographic ready for jobs. Unemployment runs rampant in the country, that is why the government of India has initiated many skill programs that are meant to help the youth attain jobs and help increase the economy.
This World Youth Skills Day 2021, we will celebrate the resilience and creativity of youth throughout the crisis. A virtual event, organized by the Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka and Portugal to the UN, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, UNESCO and ILO, will offer an opportunity to reflect on skills that are needed today and for the future. Participants will take stock of how the TVET sector has adapted to the pandemic and recession, think of how TVET institutions can participate in the recovery, and imagine priorities they should adopt for the post-COVID-19 world.