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World Youth Skills Day: Empowering Youth Through Skills Development

Category: Occassions

World Youth Skills Day: Empowering Youth Through Skills Development

World Youth Skills Day, observed on July 15 every year, was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2014. aims to equip young individuals with the necessary skill sets for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship.

Young people's skill development is crucial for their future success. World Youth Skills Day highlights the importance of this development and its impact on employment, entrepreneurship, and socio-economic growth. In this blog, we will discuss the significance of this day, examine global challenges and opportunities, and explore the roles of governments, the private sector, and youth-led initiatives in promoting skills development.

Importance of Youth Skills Development

Youth skills development plays a pivotal role in shaping the future workforce. Here's why it matters:

  • Equipping young people with relevant skills is essential as it helps bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge gained in education and practical application in the real world. This makes them more employable and attractive to potential employers, increasing their chances of securing desired jobs and contributing meaningfully. Having relevant skills ensures that they are not just graduates seeking work, but valuable assets who can add immediate value to their organisations.
  • A skilled young workforce is a powerful driver of economic prosperity. Their innovative ideas and ability to tackle challenges creatively lead to breakthroughs and progress. Increased productivity due to a skilled workforce translates to higher output and economic growth. In addition, their entrepreneurial spirit can create new businesses and job opportunities, further boosting the economy.
  • Investing in skills development helps ensure that no one is left behind in the competitive job market. By providing opportunities for skill acquisition to marginalised youth, we create a more inclusive society where everyone, regardless of background or circumstance, has a fair chance to succeed. This empowers individuals, reduces inequality, and promotes social justice.
  • Staying updated on evolving technologies and trends is crucial to ensure that young people have relevant skills that are in demand in the current and future job market. Early intervention is also crucial, and skill development should ideally begin early in a young person's life, building a solid foundation for future success. A collaborative approach involving governments, educational institutions, industries, and NGOs is essential to ensure widespread and practical skills development programs.

Government and Policy Initiatives

Governments worldwide are investing in the development of youth skills through various initiatives, like

  • One such initiative is vocational training programs, which aim to equip young individuals with practical skills in multiple sectors. For instance, India's Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY) provides free skill training and certification in over 250 job roles to Indian youth, thereby bridging the gap between vocational training and industry needs. In Germany, the Dual System of Vocational Training combines classroom learning with on-the-job training, allowing students to gain practical skills and experience while earning certifications. 
  • Another initiative that governments are undertaking is skill certification programs. Such programs ensure that individuals' abilities are formally acknowledged, enhancing their employability. For example, India's National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) issues industry-recognized skill certificates across various sectors, ensuring that certified individuals possess the required skills for specific jobs. The Global Skills Initiative, led by the World Bank, aims to establish international standards for skills assessment and certification, thereby facilitating the mobility of skilled workers across borders.
  • Another such policy is the Youth Employment Guarantee Scheme, which provides young people with temporary work opportunities or training programs to gain experience and improve their employability. Countries like Austria and Spain have already implemented this scheme. 

Youth-led Initiatives and Entrepreneurship

  • The growing trend of youth driving positive change through entrepreneurship and leadership. It showcases three key areas where young people are making a significant impact:
  • Young people are making significant contributions to economic growth through their innovative businesses. They often bring fresh perspectives and solutions to the table, leveraging technology and digital solutions to address unmet needs. This includes young entrepreneurs developing solutions for renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and financial inclusion.
  • Young people are increasingly using their entrepreneurial spirit to tackle social challenges. They are creating ventures that address issues such as poverty, education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. This includes social enterprises that provide affordable education in underserved communities, promote sustainable waste management, and create opportunities for marginalised groups.
  • Investing in leadership development empowers young people to become agents of change. Initiatives that provide leadership training, mentorship, and decision-making opportunities foster leadership skills that enable young people to create positive change within their communities, organisations, and even on a global scale.
  • To maximise the impact of these initiatives, it is essential to create an enabling environment that supports youth-led initiatives . This requires access to resources, funding, mentorship, and networks, which can be achieved through collaboration between young people, governments, businesses, and civil society organisations.

Young people have been demonstrating the power of youth-led initiatives in creating positive change in various fields. such as;-

  • Climate activists, such as Greta Thunberg, have mobilised millions of people worldwide to demand urgent action on climate change. Their strikes, campaigns, and advocacy have put environmental issues at the forefront. 
  • Youth-led NGOs, like Youth for Human Rights International and AIESEC, empower young leaders to address human rights, education, and sustainable development. 
  • Raj Panjabi founded Last Mile Health, which provides healthcare to remote communities in Liberia. 
  • Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel laureate, advocates for girls' education through her Malala Fund. 
  • Platforms like Youth Ki Awaaz and The Skimm amplify youth voices, covering topics from politics to mental health. 
  • AIM provides a platform for academic students to engage in research innovation and gain entrepreneurial experience.


World Youth Skills Day emphasises the significance of investing in youth skills development. By equipping young people with the necessary knowledge and expertise, we ensure their successful transition into the workforce and entrepreneurial ventures. Governments, the private sector, and youth-led initiatives all play crucial roles in fostering skills development. On this World Youth Skills Day, let us recognize the power of skills in empowering our youth and take action to contribute to their brighter future.

Published on: 20 Apr 2024
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