The United Nations global report on youth highlights rising concerns over the lack of job propsect.
A lack of job opportunities, inadequate education, vulnerable working conditions and insufficient government investment are some of the main concerns of young people around the world, according to the UN's World Youth Report published yesterday.
In the aftermath of the economic crisis, the global youth unemployment rate saw its largest annual increase on record in 2009, resulting in around 75.8 million unemployed youth. “Today, we have the largest generation of young people the world has ever known,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki‑moon. “They are demanding their rights and a greater voice in economic and political life.” He went on to declare: “We need to pull the United Nations system together like never before to support a new social contract of job-rich economic growth. Let us start with young people.”
For the first time, inputs gathered from young people around the world through an extensive digital and social media consultation formed the core of the report, entitled “Youth Employment: Youth Perspectives on the Pursuit of Decent Work in Changing Times”. For almost one month, young people from the ages of 15 to 30 took part in the consultation and a total of approximately 1,100 contributions (as well as photos and videos) were received from young people around the world during the four-week consultation period.
A main concern in the discussions was that current education systems are not preparing young people adequately to compete in the job market. Youth were especially worried that the education they received was overly theoretical, leaving them to acquire practical skills on their own. “Today it should be easier to find a job because our generation is the most educated but there is an inadequacy between the training offered and the needs of the labour market,” said Amadou, a Senegalese 24-year-old who participated in the online consultations.
Many also expressed concern about their governments not doing enough to help them overcome unemployment, stressing that without a lack of opportunities, they cannot apply their skills.
The report is available in English, online at www.unworldyouthreport.org, where, for the first time, readers are invited to interact and share their reactions. A panel discussion on youth employment was held from 1:15 – 2:30 p.m. on 6 February at United Nations Headquarters to launch the report and examine the role of youth, Governments and the private sector in addressing youth employment challenges.
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