What skills do young people need?

According to LifeSkills Barometer, many of the skills that have been labelled as a priority by employees weren’t recognised by 24% of young people as being of importance. The below skills are hugely beneficial to have before entering into the world of work:

  • Being a team player
  • Problem solver
  • Paying attention to detail (able to spot mistakes easily)
  • Being able to work with people from all walks of life, generations and background.
  • Analysing and understanding complex data
  • Reasoning and prioritising
  • Being able to communicate effectively on different platforms especially audio/video 
  • Multi-tasking and handling large amounts of information 
  • Being good at a range of subjects whilst also being a specialist 
  • Making the most out of the work environment 

Skills such as the above have been named the most important entry-level skills that applicants will need in 10 years’ time by businesses. As the importance of the skills, we view to be of importance shift, it’s crucial that we teach the younger generation what they need to know.

Are young people developing the right skills they need for employment?

Young people aged 15 to 24 years old make up 16% of the global population - if you haven’t had a chance to do the maths, that amounts to 1.2 billion young people and counting.

Yet, according to the United Nations (UN) this age group are three times more likely than other age groups to stay unemployed despite possessing developed skills - which leads us to ponder - are young people developing the right skills for employment? 

Research conducted on 2,000 participants by Barclays highlights the concern that 48% of young people believe they haven’t been taught the skills employers will look for in the near future. 

Making matters worse, young people are exposed to greater labour market inequalities, lower quality of jobs and face more insecurities in their leap from education to employment. 

Developing the skills of young people is not only good for the future economy of our country - it is also important for the careers, financial independence and well-being of young people. The huge shortage of skills within the STEM field, continues to be an issue for 46% of employers struggling to fill STEM roles. 

workplace diversity.

Employment statistics show that for the first time since the 1980s British women were more likely to be unemployed than men, resulting in women undertaking more part-time or temporary contract jobs than their male counterparts. 

Employers should want to level the playing field, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but also because of the immensely positive effect it would have on the global economy. 

If gender parity was granted by enabling women to work as many hours as men in the same sectors while earning the same amount as them, the global GDP could increase by 26%. That’s estimated to be $28 trillion by 2025 - to add context an economy increase of that size would look like adding another China and USA to the global economy. 

skills change lives.

Now that we’ve established how vital skills are, it’s easy to see why the UN has launched their 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to improve the societal problem young people are currently facing. The UN agenda works to upskill the youth whilst also eradicating poverty and inequality across the world especially in countries that experience it the most. The agenda hopes to foster social inclusion and equality.

The 2030 agenda focuses on using two types of learning methods to increase the chances of young people being able to find work opportunities and develop entrepreneurial skills. These development programmes use technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to raise awareness by providing help to young adults and raising awareness about sustainable and inclusive economic growth.

how your organisation can help #WYSD2019

In business, finance and accountancy sectors the job market is becoming more and more competitive resulting in fewer opportunities being made available to young people. In order to adequately upskill the future workforce, organisations can plan in advance and take the initiative to create programmes to develop young people in order to encourage them to progress down their chosen career path.  

This can be done through work experience, internships, apprenticeships, workshops and summer programmes to develop their competencies and accelerate their transition to work. Work-based learning can help young people by allowing them to get familiar with the practicalness behind the theory associated with the job or field they go into. 

It is also key to ensure that the skills gained are recognised and certified to give young people an opportunity to stand out in the employment pool. 

Employers can raise awareness by hosting events and competitions to encourage upskilling young people and to celebrate World Youth Skills Day.