February 8th, 2012
by Sanjeev Kulkarni
Econintersect: 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 a United Nations report on youth published today.
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.
Since the start of the global economic crisis, young people have faced particularly hard conditions when trying to transition from schools to the labour market. In the aftermath of the economic crisis in 2009, global youth unemployment rate saw its largest annual increase on record, resulting in some 75.8 million unemployed youth. Joblessness rates among youth are also significantly higher than adult ones. In 2010, for example, the youth unemployment rate was 12.6 per cent, compared to 4.8 per cent for adults.
“Today we have the largest generation of young people the world has ever known,” said UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in the report’s introduction.
Editor’s note: “Youth were especially worried that the education they received was overly theoretical, leaving them to acquire practical skills on their own.” The objective of education should be to prepare for a career and training for a job is only part of the process. Someone perfectly trained for a job that exists at graduation and who has learned little else is likely to have a short and/or limited career. Of course, the problem is far greater than education matching to job openings. In much of the developed world there simply are not enough job openings and that burden falls hardest on the youth.
- UN’s Global report on youth highlights rising concerns over lack of job prospects (UN News Centre, 6 February 2012)
- World Youth Report: Employment (United Nations World Youth Report Website, 29 December 2011)
- World Youth Report: Youth & Climate Change (United Nations publication Sales No. E.10.M.11, ISBN 978-92-1-1300303-2, Copyright 2010)
- News articles about youth (GEI News)