The World Youth Skills Day, an event organised by the United Nations (UN), celebrates the strategic importance of equipping the youth with skills for employment, entrepreneurship and work. It is observed on July 15 every year . The day first came into existence back in 2014, and has since then provided “a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, firms, employers’ and workers’ organizations, policy makers and development partners,” according to the UN’s website.
Once again, the World Youth Skills Day is taking place amid unprecedented times due to the ongoing coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic. The theme for 2021 is ‘Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic’, which will pay a tribute to the resilience and creativity of the youth.
This time a virtual panel discussion has been organised by the permanent missions of Portugal and Sri Lanka to the United Nations, together with UNESCO, International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth.
The World Youth Skills Day aims to achieve the Incheon Declaration: Education 2030, “which devotes considerable attention to technical and vocational skills development, specifically regarding access to affordable quality TVET; the acquisition of technical and vocational skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship; the elimination of gender disparity and ensuring access for the vulnerable,” the UN further said in its website.
The UN also listed out some important facts with regard to the state of youth employment, schools along with educational and vocational training amid the Covid-19 crisis:
> According to the estimates of UNESCO, schools were shut down for over 30 weeks in 50 per cent of the countries between March 2020 and May 2021.
> Respondents to a survey of the TVET, which was jointly collected by UNESCO, the ILO and the World Bank, revealed that distance learning was the most common way of imparting skills.
> Youth employment fell 8.7 per cent last year, compared with 3.7 per cent for adults.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and several cabinet ministers India took to their social media to mark the event. PM Modi said that skill development for the youth is of national importance and is also an important basis for making India self-reliant.
“On the occasion of World Youth Skills Day, we reiterate our commitment to empower youth with professional skills that improves employability and entrepreneurship,” Union transport minister Nitin Gadkari tweeted.
Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan wrote on the microblogging site that on the occasion of the World Youth Skills Day, “let us build an India that is the skilling hub for the world.”