Employment & Entrepreneurship

World Youth Skills Day: skills for brighter futures

Eunice Generation Kenya
Eunice, from Nairobi in Kenya, secured a job as a sales executive after completing a training programme with our partner Generation.

As youth populations increase, young people are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults.

In many parts of the world, particularly South Asia and East Africa, young people find the odds of getting a decent job or starting a business stacked against them. At the same time, many entry-level jobs go unfilled because employers say young people do not have the skills they need.

What if we could change that? What if we could give these young people the opportunity to develop the skills they need to earn a decent income and afford a better life for themselves and their families? What if we could prepare young people to respond to changing skill-demands so that their skills and their businesses stay relevant in our fast-paced world?

At the IKEA Foundation we are proud to be working with partners that are making this possible. On World Youth Skills Day (15 July), we’re highlighting the work they do to help young people gain the skills they need to take their first steps into the workplace.

Skills to protect the planet

In creating sustainable jobs to offer young people a brighter future, we need to consider the future of the planet. Our long-running partnerships in employment and entrepreneurship are doing just that.

For example, Going to School’s “Get a Plan” programme equips secondary school students in Bihar, India, with the skills to set up a business, find a job or succeed in higher education. Inspired by stories of other young entrepreneurs, students who have taken part in the programme plan to set up businesses that preserve the planet and contribute to their communities. Among them is Akhalaque, who wants to become an engineer.

“I want to make a solar energy system that will deliver energy at the right time, and the machines using the solar energy will not produce any pollution,” he says.

New partnerships

We’re also delighted to celebrate two new partnerships with Generation andBangladesh Youth Leadership Center (BYLC).

Generation will support 47,000 marginalised young people in India and Kenya by training and placing them in career-launching jobs—and mentoring them during their first months of work.

The programme will help people like Silas, from Kenya. Silas, who is deaf, says his life changed when he applied for Generation’s training programme, which enabled him to secure a job as a sewing machine operator.

“Before knowing Generation, my life was really difficult because I could not get a job easily “

He says: “Before knowing Generation, my life was really difficult because I could not get a job easily…I had a lot of stress because I had to give for my family. But after getting the skills at Generation, now my life is better because I can easily get a job at any textile company.”

Our partnership with BYLC will launch the first blended learning training programme in Bangladesh, combining interactive online courses with personal support in the classroom.

The programme will focus on enabling young people to develop core skills they need to thrive in the workplace, such as creative problem solving, communication, leadership and entrepreneurship.

We believe #SkillsChangeLives. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn to hear the inspiring stories of how young people’s lives have been changed by developing new skills.