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Young people want to work - but aren't getting the support they need

With the world’s major economies still in flux and recent figures suggesting that growth in Asia’s emerging economies has slowed, jobs are at the top of agendas around the globe.

Young people want to work.

With the world’s major economies still in flux and recent figures suggesting that growth in Asia’s emerging economies has slowed, jobs are at the top of agendas around the globe.

Research, commissioned by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), into young people, education and job skills has found that whilst youth around the world wants to work, they aren’t getting the support they need from the state.

The 2012 Global Monitoring Report shows findings from conversations with over 100 young people from impoverished and marginalized communities in Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Vietnam and the UK. The aim was to get a better understanding of their experiences with developing job skills and identify gaps between their skill sets and those required to find jobs. Youngsters were also asked what could be done for those in their peer group to attain these skills and what could be done to uncover barriers to gaining job skills.

Whilst employers generally complain of a skills gap, young people participating in the research rarely saw their own lack of skills as the primary problem to securing stable employment (although some felt that English language skills or computer knowledge would help). More often they saw a lack of work experience as a barrier to getting a job and felt caught in a catch-22 situation where potential employers were only willing to consider candidates with extensive and highly specific experience in the same sector.

Understanding these youth perspectives is key for global companies interested in developing a thriving workforce for the future and the role of business in helping to bridge the global skills gap has never been more important.

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