» UNESCO launches new strategy promoting skills development at world youth event in Bonn
20.07.2016 - Education Sector

UNESCO launches new strategy promoting skills development at world youth event in Bonn

© UNESCO-UNEVOC/Alix Wurdak

UNESCO has launched a new strategy to combat rising youth unemployment, a significant problem for economies and societies worldwide in both developed and developing countries.

According to data from the International Labour Organization (ILO) publicationhttp://www.unevoc.unesco.org/pix/link_ext.gif, 73.4 million young people were estimated to be unemployed in 2015 (13.1 per cent youth unemployment rate), and this figure is expected to increase in most regions by 2017.

A major reason for this is the mismatch between skills offered by workers and those demanded by employers. To access the world of work, youth need to be equipped with the right skills.

UNESCO’s new Strategy for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) (2016-2021) supports governments in enhancing the relevance of their TVET systems. The strategy, strongly endorsed by UNESCO Member States and adopted by UNESCO's Executive Board in April 2016, focuses on equipping all youth and adults with the skills required to find decent work and develop entrepreneurial and innovative mind-sets as well as becoming active citizens in an equitable, inclusive and sustainable society. It sets as priority areas youth employment, the promotion of equity and gender equality and the transition to green economies and sustainable societies.

The strategy was launched on World Youth Skills Day, July 15, 2016 at the UNESCO International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNESCO-UNEVOC), in Bonn. The event, organized jointly by UNESCO and UNESCO-UNEVOC, brought youth and TVET stakeholders together to discuss the way forward.

Skills and the importance of partnerships

In a video message to participants UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said: “We need a new focus on skills – we need new thinking about education – we need transformed training systems. This is why technical and vocational education and training stands at the heart of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – with a focus on skills, on access, on outcomes in terms of employment and on eliminating gender disparities.”

Richard Kinley, Acting Chair of the Head of UN Agencies in Bonn, and Deputy Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, added: “Huge challenges which entail significant transformations of the economies will require revitalized global partnerships and cooperation in the TVET community and beyond, both at national and international level”.

During the event, representatives of governments, international agencies, relevant institutions, the private sector and youth reflected on areas of cooperation and synergies and looked into the interrelations between TVET and key areas of sustainable development.

The strategy is available in English, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Arabic.

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