Today, there are 1.2 billion young people aged 15 to 24 years, accounting for 16 per cent of the global population.

The active engagement of youth in sustainable development efforts is central to achieving sustainable, inclusive and stable societies by the target date, and to averting the worst threats and challenges to sustainable development, including the impacts of climate change, unemployment, poverty, gender inequality, conflict, and migration.

However, young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and continuously exposed to lower quality of jobs, greater labor market inequalities, and longer and more insecure school-to-work transitions.

Monday 15th July, is UN’s World Youth Skills Day

Rising youth unemployment is one of the most significant problems facing economies and societies in today’s world.

The purpose of WYSD day is to spread awareness on the importance of youth skills development. It is the responsibility of the wider STEAM industry in helping children develop the skills they need to thrive in the digital age. 

Vivek Daga, Vice President and Country Head UK and Ireland, Cognizant, said:

“We live in an age of massive technology consumption, which has transformed the way we interact with each other and how we go about daily tasks. Imagine not being able to instantly contact a friend or family member if you are running late to meet them? Younger generations of today have never had to experience this conundrum in their personal and professional lives. And new technologies will undoubtedly revolutionise the future of work even further.

“World Youth Skills Day acts as a reminder that each day we need to be working with and preparing our children – amongst them are the future leaders of the world – to develop the skills needed to thrive in the technological age. Whilst of course, some of this must be done through the education system – with the UK government investing £20 million into an Institute of Coding to improve digital skills throughout the country, the wider industry that requires STEAM skills also has a major role to play.

“To prepare younger generations for the world of work, some businesses are encouraging and supporting school-age pupils to consider how to work with data and encourage creative thinking. For example, through our Outreach STEAM programme in the UK, we have inspired close to 200 primary age children through workshops on the jobs of the future – encouraging them to understand new roles that might be created in the next decade and working with them to explore technologies that could become reality in future. Our Digital entrepreneurship lab for girls also teaches young girls practical advice on how to start and run a business.

“Whilst World Youth Skills Day comes around once a year, we need to be working with children every single day to spark creativity, critical thinking and collaboration. These disciplines “pull” kids into STEAM careers by generating interest and confidence, rather than “pushing” them to maths and science.”

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