The Third Annual World Youth Skills Day took place under the theme ‘Skills for the Future of Work’.
Participants highlighted opportunities for increasing youth skills to enhance their contributions to the SDGs and promote employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship, among other actions.
17 July 2017: Young people joined the UN General Assembly (UNGA) President and high-level government representatives in New York, US, to mark the Third Annual World Youth Skills Day under the theme ‘Skills for the Future of Work.’ Participants stressed the importance of best practices and policies to address the skills gap and ensure that young people have the opportunities and skills to access quality jobs in rapidly digitizing economies.
The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth Jayathma Wickramanayake said that increasing the number of youth with relevant skills for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship will help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). She called for: undertaking greater and more coherent efforts to better forecast skills that will be required in the future; tailoring existing policies and initiatives to the digital era and ensuring flexibility to adapt them to changing workplaces; and funding national youth policies. She also underscored the importance of non-formal and informal education.
UNGA President Peter Thomson said investing in young people is “one of the most effective, long-term and exponential investments” to achieve the SDGs.
In his statement, UNGA President Peter Thomson underscored that investing in young people is “one of the most effective, long-term and exponential investments” to achieve the SDGs. Observing that youth are the main beneficiaries of the SDGs, he urged harnessing youth enthusiasm and ingenuity. Thomson called for: targeted policies and resources to develop digital skills; specific programmes to ensure women and girls have access to education, health and employment opportunities; and international cooperation, strategic partnerships and technology transfer.
Amrith Rohan Perera, Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN, called for a ‘Skills Revolution,’ with young people attaining skills required to succeed in and adapt to rapidly-changing workplaces. These efforts will contribute, in particular, to SDG 8 (decent work and economic growth) and SDG 4 (quality education). Target 4.4 calls for significantly increasing the number of youth and adults with relevant skills.
The Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka and Portugal to the UN, the International Labour Organization (ILO), the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the Office of the UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth organized the event, which took place on 15 July 2017. In 2014, the UNGA designated 15 July as World Youth Skills Day, which provides the opportunity to highlight the importance of youth skills development. [ILO Press Release] [UN News Story] [UNGA President Statement] [Youth Skills Day Website]