Youth Unemployment – A Global Crisis

Reading this blog post on World Bank site, http://blogs.worldbank.org/voices/we-need-youth-jobs-revolution, I was struck that the problem, the actors involved, and the solutions – all were as applicable to the youth unemployment problem in the United States as in the developing world (the ostensible aim of the dialogue held at the Bank during their meetings in DC earlier this month).

“The Bank-sponsored session demonstrated a consensus around the need to promote market-based solutions so young people gain the life and employability skills that match the demands of the local economy. Panelists also underscored the need to teach young people the skills to create and build their own businesses. However, according to Jill Huntley, global managing director for corporate citizenship at Accenture, emerging entrepreneurs need more than access to capital. “We need to create an ‘ecosystem’ of support for them to succeed,” she said. “

I like the notion of creating an ecosystem of support – strikes me that at all levels of our own educational system, this is exactly what is needed.  No question that at the tertiary levels, campus career service offices are now more actively seeking partnerships with employers as they prepare students to enter the workforce.  Of course, as I learned a year ago when I was delivering workshops to university Deans of Students in Zimbabwe, not all educational systems have career service offices because there is no student affairs profession to prepare individuals to deliver advising services.

Our problem is that while we have a rich and diverse educational system, access to best practices, at all levels of learning, is shamefully unequal in our society.

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