• The majority agreed there is a need to improve the quality of education and to make it accessible to all young people. This requires tailoring curricula more effectively to the labour market, including through the development of practical skills (proposed by Muhamad, 20, with the Asian Law Students Association).
• Mechanisms should be put in place by Governments in partnership with the private sector; so that institutions are supporting internships and vocational training at scale and in a broad range of disciplines.
• Vocational training, apprenticeships and non-formal education should be more widely recognized by employers as valuable components of a rounded education, which in turn would increase candidates’ employment credentials and contribute towards a more stable labour market.
• All Governments should provide spaces for young people to share their views and discuss the issues they face with regard to education and employment (Yasmyn, 24, from Guadeloupe).
• Governments and the private sector should ensure that information is widely available to all segments of the youth population and support those social groups which experience the most difficulties in accessing and completing education, such as young people living in extreme poverty and in rural locations, young women and youth with disabilities.
• Yanira, 29, from Mexico suggested the following:
“1.) I recommend that before graduating from university, the Government should assist with internship programmes at prestigious companies, whereby youth can acquire responsibilities and increase their competitive qualities.
2.) According to the labour market, the Government should create a fund to train young leaders in all of the main national educational institutions. They would promote the scheme internationally as well.
3.) Design a strategy between Governments and students, in which young people demonstrate their capabilities through community service, applying their knowledge in other countries, and empowering them to develop their team skills – preparing them for a working life.”
Jelena, a participant at the X Central European Initiative Youth Forum, held in November 2010 (in Montenegro), informed us of the Forum’s recommendations relating to education and employment of young people. “The recommendations are based on the needs, experiences and good practices of Central European countries that were represented at the Forum.”
The outcome recommendations focus on “Strengthening instruments and programmes for the successful entry of youth into the labour market” and include (X Central European Initiative, 2010):
- Provide entrepreneurship learning in schools
- Provide opportunities for young people starting a business (loans, training, subsidies)
- Provide extensive and continuous analysis of market needs
- Provide education and training programmes that are tailored to market needs
- Provide social and economic integration of early school leavers/drop‐outs
- Strengthen and promote the use of information centres and career counseling
- Promote volunteering as an excellent way of gaining knowledge, skills and competencies, and incentives for professional mobility
- Provide recognition and quality assurance in education and training
- Raise awareness of employers about the importance of non‐formal education
- Increase visibility of youth in communities, promote and encourage the proactive role of youth
In addition to the Youth Forum above, the International Trade Union Confederation in Berlin organized an open space forum, entitled “Decent work for youth - lost in globalization?” in October 2011. More than 80 young people from 25 countries took part. Ivan, 26, with the Youth Section of the Union of Autonomous Trade Unions of Croatia, informed us that:
“Upon completion of the international conference, participants signed an open letter, called 'Young trade unionists call for action on youth employment at the International Labour Conference 2012,' which will be referred to the International Labour Organization, the International Trade Union Confederation and other trade union organizations around the world.”