Youth and Skills Development: 12 Things to Know
This fact sheet is prepared in the lead up to the ADB International Skills Development Forum. Shanti Jagannathan and Benjamin Vergel de Dios
1. Young people have power to make or break their country’s economy. About 2 million youths are now entering the Bangladesh job market annually but nearly 90% of them end up in poorly paid informal work. Low skills of the workforce is undermining productivity and weighing on attempts to diversify the economy. Source: ADB News: $500 Million Loan Targets Skills-driven Secondary Education for Bangladesh
2. Investing in girls brings good socio-economic returns. The United Nations estimates that the region loses more than $40 billion per year as a result of gender gaps in education and women’s limited access to employment opportunities.Source: ADB News: Skill Training for Women and Girls the Focus of ADB Seminar
3. Young people are at the center of India’s inclusive growth strategies. The low employability of India’s work force is affecting the competitiveness of its economy. Of India’s total youth population, 57% suffer from some degree of unemployability.
4. Youth running out of reasons to smile. Global adult unemployment rate is at 4.5% but global youth unemployment is three times more (12.6%). Youth say they can’t find jobs because they do not have “experience, skills, contacts, awareness of job availability and means to travel to find work”.
5. TVET institutions need new learning paradigms. Time to explore the 70-20-10 formula of learning – 70% on-the-job development and real life experiences, 20 % through coaching and self improvement and 10% through structured instructor-led trainings and e-Learning.
6. Asia-Pacific should not ignore Not in Education, Employment or Training-NEET. Globally, there are 357.7 million youth not in education, employment of training, with 62% in South Asia (101 million) and East Asia and Pacific (119.4 million).
Source: World Economic Forum
7. You are in trouble if you are a girl, poor and living in a rural area. Location, gender and wealth disparities affect acquisition of ‘foundation skills’. Almost all boys and girls from rick households in the Philippines acquire foundation skills but only 56% girls and 35% boys from poor backgrounds do. In Pakistan, almost 50% of rural females will not get any education at all.
8. Underemployment is as serious as unemployment. In 2010, 536 million working youth in the developing world were underemployed – more than half of them live in South Asia (152 million) and East Asia and the Pacific (150 million). As many as 200 million working youth earn less than US$ 2 a day.
Source: World Economic Forum
9. Employers say youth are not prepared for the world of work: youth agree but their educators and trainers do not. Only 42% employers and 45% youth surveyed said youth were not prepared for the world of work, whereas an overwhelming 72% of education and training providers believed they are.
10. Every young person deserves a second chance in education. UNESCO’s EFA Global Monitoring Report 2012 reveals around 200 million young people need a second chance to acquire the basic literacy and numeracy skills, which are essential to learning further skills for work. Some 91 million of them live in South and West Asia.
11. Youth entrepreneurship can remedy youth unemployment. OECD says it can be part of the solution. 40% of youth aged 15-24 years and say self-employment is feasible. More males (34%) than females (24%) believe they can make themselves self-employed.
Source: OECD Policy Brief
12. Youth demand hands-on training and do not get enough. Fifty-eight percent of surveyed youth agreed that “practical, hands-on learning is an effective approach to training”. However, only 24% of academic graduates and 37% vocational graduates said they get this in their respective institutions.
- Youth Unemployment: A Comparison Between England and Spain (99percentblog.org)
- The Entrepreneurial Spirit of the Middle East: A Risk or Reward? (rightoftheleftline.wordpress.com)
- 14 ways to foster youth enterprise (theguardian.com)
- Contrasts within Asia (omega7geo.wordpress.com)