World Youth Skills Day (Journée mondiale des compétences des jeunes) – 15 July 2021

I take my hat off to all the parents who helped (or are still juggling) their kids through pandemic remote learning. I have a 3 year old so I didn’t have personal experience of this, but the statistics are sobering: UNESCO estimates that schools were either fully or partially closed for more than 30 weeks between March 2020 and May 2021 in half the countries of the world. In late June, 19 countries still had full school closures, affecting nearly 157 million learners, with an additional 768 million more learners affected by partial school closures.

July 15 is World Youth Skills Day and is an opportunity to highlight the need to reimagine youth skills post-pandemic. Rising youth unemployment is a one of the biggest problems facing the global economy, both in developed and developing countries. If you have children, or even if you don’t, I think you’d agree that fostering the acquisition of skills by youth to enhance their ability to make informed life and work choices and empower them to gain access to changing labour markets is an important conversation to have. I want my son to have skills such as problem solving, adaptability, critical thinking, communication and resilience that he needs to navigate the world he will inherit (and the Covid debt he will be paying off!). What do you think are the most important skills our kids need to thrive and survive into the future?

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