Youth and the Future of Work

A dialogue organized by the President of the General Assembly at the United Nations HQ in New York

Press release | 01 June 2018
NEW YORK (ILO News) – On May 30th, the President of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly, H.E. Mr. Miroslav Lajčák, convened a dialogue with young women and men to share views, experiences and solutions to facilitate a stronger connection between education and employment as well as the prevention of radicalization. The UN Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, Jayathma Wickramanayake, joined the dialogue and stressed the important role of youth in leading and contributing to sustainable development with will, perseverance and innovation.

The conversation on education and employment focused on the future of work and featured three talented youth from the Caribbean, Africa and Asia working for the promotion of youth rights, improved education systems, and better youth labour market prospects across the world. The conversation took place as the United Nations system and partners join hands in the promotion of the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth, the inclusive and overarching alliance for youth employment in support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Youth’s experiences contributed to a personal and powerful dialogue calling for more and better policies and interventions to ensure the delivery of relevant skills and facilitate a successful transition into employment, both today and tomorrow.

Some of the key recommendations from youth included:
• Realizing the power of effective communication between governments, employers, workers and young people as a precondition to address the skills mismatch.
• Investing in lifelong learning, and making the education system more adaptable and attuned to the needs of the labour market.
• Ensuring effective economic and labour market policies to create jobs for young women and men.
• Building on research to inform the design of effective interventions and education and skills training curricula through rigorous evidence and market sensing.
• Investing in entrepreneurship education as a key to unlock youth’s creativity and innovation, linking to opportunities in wage and self-employment in the future.
• Tapping into the potential of work-based learning to expose young people to the world of work in a meaningful manner and connect the supply and demand sides of the labour market through quality apprenticeships and other types of training.
The day offered inspiring moments and unscripted interventions from youth delegates, NGOs, the United Nations and other multilateral and regional institutions. In his closing remarks, HE Mr. Lajčák called for a continued commitment to investing in young people and ensuring that their voices are heard and acted upon through meaningful and sustainable channels.