G8 and G20 Youth Summit Attendees Determine Unemployment Must Be Combatted Through Education

ByKamleshan Pillay

On day two of economic committee negotiations at the G8 and G20 Youth Summit in Washington D.C., there was a positive atmosphere which allowed for constructive discussion throughout the day. There was wide consensus amongst the committee on certain topics, while other topics still remain unresolved. The initiation of the World Wide Program, recommend by Germany, was greeted by a positive response as there was general agreement that skills are in serious shortage in the job market; it was suggested that skills development be supported by the governments. Some countries in particular need more skills development than others. The South African delegate Khwezi Khondile suggested that there is a need for the “particular development of skills in mathematics and science”. The implementation of skills that apply to vocations, or as Canada suggested, “less theoretical skills applied in universities and more practical skills,” would inherently combat unemployment. 

Government sponsored programs for youth, and those people unemployed for an appreciable amount of time were also suggested. The issues of education implementation or education development are among the most pertinent issues in determining whether training programs, scholarship exchanges, or private sector and government interaction would be financially possible.  Canada, the UK, and South Africa were all of the opinion that loans and “pay-back” loans available to people once in the job market would solve the problem of finding funding. This was opposed by some countries, such as South Africa who saw the move as one which would lead to a drain of needed skills which would then lead to a decline in economic growth.

The delegates agreed that there need to be specific details that would determine how exchange programs would be run in G20 countries. It was suggested that caution be taken so that the gap between the G20 countries and the rest of the world do not widen. 

The delegates agreed that academics and non-academics need to be included in skills development so that the personal development of the individuals is well-rounded in nature. The point of the committee was to show the relation of the creation of training programs and the promotion of self employment. It was put very appropriately by the U.S. economics minister Laura Bernstein that “if you teach or facilitate teaching with specifics in mechanical engineering, for example, that person will gain practical skills to become a mechanic however if you teach mechanical engineering skills and promote business enterprise skills then that person could possible open his or her own mechanical auto-shop.” Self employment can lead to more long term gains. There seems to be a positive feeling in the committee that compromises are being reached.