Celebrating Youth Skills Day 2024

The 15th of July 2024, marks the celebration of World Youth Skills Day which is a day to focus on the strategic importance of ensuring we equip our young people with the right skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. This celebration was declared in 2014 by the United Nations General Assembly with the aim of addressing the challenges of youth unemployment across the world. This day highlights an important issue of ensuring our next generation of employees are given the right tools to succeed, and how crucial personal development is for them as individuals.

Youth is defined to be the ages of 15 to 24 and according to United Nations, it is estimated that 600 million jobs would have to be created over the next 15 years to meet youth employment needs. Additionally, estimates show that in 2022, the total number of unemployed youths globally, was estimated to reach 73 million.

To commemorate the occasion, we want to take our own opportunity to highlight the importance of encouraging our next generation and supporting their career development, and the role employers can play in this.

A way in which you can not only support the next generation of employees local to your business, but also raise awareness for your company, is to connect with the schools in your area and support their careers agenda. Whether this be in attending their careers fair and workshops or holding talks on your business and the employment opportunities you offer to students directly. Not only will you be encouraging the conversation of employment choice, and ensuring students are aware of the variety of careers paths available to them but it also will play a part in breaking down the barriers to certain employment opportunities that some students may not believe they have access to given their social or economic background, further contributing to the conversation around social mobility. In doing so, you will also encourage your name to become an employer of choice to these students and in your local area.

There is also the opportunity to discuss whether as an organisation you can support work experience initiatives and inviting students in to your offices to explore what the world of work is really like. Experiences like these are vital to the personal and the professional development of students, and people don’t forget who presented them with opportunities like this and the chance of full-time employment with you following work experience is an opportunity people won’t want to miss out on. This would also contribute to the importance of transferable skills, innovation and sparking creativity in our next generation of leaders. It is key to play a part, as an employer, in the conversation around post-school options and ensuring all avenues are made aware to students so they themselves can make an informed decision about their own future, and feeling as though they have plenty of options with no limitations.

As an employer, you should also look to foster a culture of Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and to ensure that employees, right from the start of their careers, have access to information that details their pathway to success and how can achieve their fullest potential. Encouraging a network for young professionals, whether this be in your local area or internally within your business, will ensure your employees feel supported by their employer and by their peers and to encourage relationships that can grow throughout their careers.