74.8 million youth aged 15–24 are currently unemployed according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). Young people are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed.
Governments have often been blamed for not creating jobs for young people. But instead of playing the blame game, youths should look for innovations that will not only keep them employed but also give opportunity for others to join them.
The current picture as painted by the ILO in its Youth Unemployment Statistics shows that even those young people who are employed are increasingly likely to find themselves in part-time employment and often on temporary contracts. In developing countries, youth are disproportionately among the working poor.
As the number and share of unemployed youth is projected to remain essentially unchanged in 2012, and as the share of young people withdrawing from the labour market altogether continues to rise, the ILO says “on the present course there is little hope for a substantial improvement in near-term employment prospects for young people.”
International Labour Organization (ILO) has warned of a “scarred” generation. With that ‘scarring’ it is clear that the world has change and moving forward, youths should divorce the attitude of get an education and find a job.
Instead of looking for employment, young people should be looking at what they can do to create jobs for themselves and eventually others.
Initially, this idea may seem like a far fetched dream but there are many successful examples of youth innovations that have contributed to employment and wealth creation.
One of many examples is that of Facebook. Barely eight years after its birth, Facebook has created more than 1,000 jobs and can
boast of income exceeding $1 billion. Facebook is a runaway success, but there are hundreds of successful companies that have created jobs for other young people.
If Zuckerberg and his colleagues had not dared to be innovative, those 700 jobs, which are held mostly by youths, would not be there and possibly some of those employees will be unemployed today.
The main obstacle to youth innovation for employment creation is the current education systems which does not prepare young people adequately to create their own employment through entrepreneurship.
The education system only teaches young people to get good grades and later find a job.
“Young people questioned the quality of education they and their peers receive: Whether or not it is relevant to available jobs, how their knowledge and skills will serve them in the long-term, and the extent to which decision-makers are committed to needed investment in the potential of young people,” the ILO report said.
Youth were especially worried that the education they received was overly theoretical, leaving them to acquire practical skills on their own.
If youths are to contribute positively to the global economy, radical changes in attitude towards
innovation have to be implemented.