In the recent ADB International Skills Development Forum 2013, a strong youth contingent was invited for the first time to join deliberations. Over 40 youth with diverse backgrounds came from 10 countries. They enriched discussions by sharing their concerns and viewpoints on skills and jobs and what is required to ensure good jobs. When we challenged them to come up with what they could themselves undertake, the energetic and creative group of youth came up with the following. Well done! Shanti Jagannathan
We, the youth participants of the 3rd International Skills Development Forum gathered on 10th-12th December 2013 in Manila, Philippines,
strongly believe that the time has come for the international community to work together to make the world of decent work accessible to all, where every young person can avail equal opportunities.
Youth face clear and distinct issues that impede them from making informed career choices, reaching their full potential, and living a happy and successful life. In the Asia-Pacific region, 6 out of 10 young people have no jobs, are not in school, or are engaged in irregular employment. We, the youth of the region, struggle in an environment that has fostered skills mismatch, urban and rural divide, weak youth entrepreneurship, and unsecure jobs in both the formal and informal sector. If this continues, current and future generations will be confined to a poorer quality of life and remembered as the lost generation
We recognize the impact ICT has on revolutionizing opportunities for youth.
To reverse the current trends, youth must be educated, empowered, and engaged. We commit ourselves to:
- Develop and encourage extra-curricular activities and youth-inspired opportunities that enable youth to practice life skills and leadership;
- Participate and execute peer-to-peer mentorships for personal growth and career guidance;
- Organize youth-friendly job fairs, especially on green and ICT-based jobs;
- Patronize and promote youth-led enterprises;
- Organize and execute a youth-led dialogue that brings together youth, government and private sector to talk about issues on employment;
- Advocate and serve as a resource to the international institutions and labor ministries on the need for a public information dissemination campaign about decent work;
In addition to the specific actionable items that the youth will undertake, we call upon the following stakeholders to seriously consider the following recommendations:
- We encourage greater and more meaningful collaboration between youth, relevant government ministries, and private sector.
- We encourage greater collaboration between private sector and education institutions in curriculum-design and career-guidance.
- We encourage greater emphasis on entrepreneurship in all levels of formal and non-formal education, and making youth-friendly financial resources accessible.
- We encourage incentives for businesses that promote decent work opportunities for youth.
- We urge the private sector to stand up and be the face of change in making digital literacy accessible to rural youth.
- We encourage government and private agencies to include youth advisors in programs and policies that impact youth.
We applaud the Asian Development Bank and Plan International for their continued commitment to inclusive dialogue. We call upon the international community to intensify its commitment to deliver its promise of decent work and equitable opportunities for youth in the Asia-Pacific region.