Are young people overskilled or underskilled?

Paul Comyn and Drew Gardiner

Paul Comyn, ILO Senior Vocational Skills and Development Specialist and Drew Gardiner, Youth Employment Specialist

This week, as we prepare ILO’s participation in the World Skills Competition 2017, taking place in Abu Dhabi, UAE from 15-18 October, we are left to reflect on a major theme which is troubling governments, employers, workers and young people across the globe – the so called skills mismatch.

This year’s World Skills Competition features 1,300 competitors, 100,000 visitors and 51 skills. The competition will cover a diverse range of vocational categories including mechatronics, information network cabling, floor tiling, patisserie, and plumbing just to name a few.

Continue reading

4 things you should know about NEETs

Sara Elder, CTA Work4Youth Project, Youth Employment Unit

Sara Elder, CTA Work4Youth Project, Youth Employment Unit

If you’re as baffled as I am by the speed at which the acronym NEETs has become standard jargon in the media, academia and international organisations, please take a moment to join me for a brief examination of what NEETs actually means. Read the technical brief

Who are NEETs? Strictly speaking, NEETs are young people who are “Neither in Employment nor in Education or Training”. Why is everybody talking about them? Perhaps because the idea of NEETs is vague enough to allow for all-encompassing interpretations of the challenges facing young people. NEETs has become shorthand for exclusion, marginalization, joblessness and discouragement. It’s even been given as evidence for a “jobless generation”, which—let’s face it—makes a great headline.

Continue reading

5 reasons you should consider an apprenticeship

Dennis Zulu Chief Program Officer

Michael Axmann, Senior Expert in Skills Development Systems at ILO

“You will get the right skills with an apprenticeship!”

Those were my mother’s words when, at the age of 18, I came home with a two-year contract in my pocket for an apprenticeship at a local bank. I’d decided not to go to college right away, because I wanted to get some work experience and start earning some money. Even though I eventually did get my university degree, I still look back on that decision as one of the best career moves I ever made.

Continue reading