21st-century skills training for ASEAN 4.0


The goal is to train ASEAN youth ages 12-40 (500 pax/year) with 21st-century skills ready for the future of work and build an ecosystem that allows for continuous growth and empowerment of youth as partners for sustainable growth.

This program is initiated by the Character and Leadership Academy (CLA) in Singapore with Futuready.asia and will run from 2018-2025 to mobilize public and private sector support with the Singapore-ASEAN (SAYF) fund as the main source of funding for incubating the concept.


Asean Youth Community Youth organization, civil society, non-governmental, non-profit organization

Technical assistance, expertise and implementation; Policy, advocacy and convening power


  • United Nations Major Group for Children and Youth (MGCY)

    Youth organization, civil society, non-governmental, non-profit organization

    Policy, advocacy and convening power

  • Character and Leadership Academy

    Private sector

    Technical assistance, expertise and implementation; Financial and/or in-kind contribution

  • TransformationFirst.Asia

    Private sector

    Technical assistance, expertise and implementation

Sustainable Development Goals & targets

  • 8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training
  • 8.9 By 2030, devise and implement policies to promote sustainable tourism that creates jobs and promotes local culture and products
  • 8.10 Strengthen the capacity of domestic financial institutions to encourage and expand access to banking, insurance and financial services for all
  • 8.b By 2020, develop and operationalize a global strategy for youth employment and implement the Global Jobs Pact of the International Labour Organization

Achievement At Glance

Since August 2018, we have directly reached 600 young people, representing 100% of our 2018 commitment (17% of our total commitment until 2025). The launch year was a test to assess the demand for 21st-century skills in ASEAN and run our prototype curriculum and methodology before expanding in 2019.

In 2018, we partnered with major industries to conduct our pilot bootcamp for 21st-century skills in the Philippines. Our 50 alumni became trainers in our partner local community as part of the “Young Bridging Leaders Community Innovation Lab” for the 12-15 high school cohort. In this program, 5 youth-led projects emerged: local transportation rating app, biogas, solid waste management, education literacy, and youth mental health. We provided seed capital for the winning team. All of the projects were accepted by the local municipality and included in their local development plan with the aim of becoming the leading municipality for youth empowerment in the Philippines.

In early 2019, we gained official endorsements from the National Youth Commission of the Philippines and the Ministry of Youth in Malaysia. We are in the process of coordinating with the Ministries in Cambodia and Indonesia.

Currently, we are preparing a bootcamp for 21st-century educators in Singapore.


The strategy is to establish AYC hubs across ASEAN by partnering with existing NGOs and social enterprises in ASEAN countries to implement the training program, and to mobilizes financing for operations through the SAYF fund with private or public sector support.

AYC's approach to 21st-century skills training builds on the Innovative Teaching and Learning (ITL) Research's 21st Century skill rubrics and study on the most effective models for professional development.

AYC applied this research to youth leadership practice to make a relevant framework and workshop design for 21CS application, anchored on SDGs In line with AYC's vision to enable youth as partners for sustainable growth in the region.

The design and conduct of the training are contextualized based on the demographic segment of the trainees (ie. highschool, university student, young professional, youth in poor rural/urban areas) and available resources.

The expected outcome: Each individual is able to apply 21st-century skills in carving their own leadership pathway towards contributing to the SDG they care for the most. This makes it meaning or purpose-driven.

The graduates of the training volunteer to conduct free 21st-century skills training to our partner communities as part of their commitment.

Graduates' evolving stories are published in our community blog, where they periodically edit it as their leadership progress in their school, workplace, or communities. This captures the dynamic nature of leadership.


Deliverables and links to SDG targets

  • Progress: 600 out of 3500 young people trained in relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, ICT skills and soft skills

    8.6 By 2020, substantially reduce the proportion of youth not in employment, education or training

    Youth in local communities who have been trained with 21st-century skills and are organized to be actively involved in SDG advocacies

    BY: Aug 2025





USD 552,320

Estimated total value of the commitment


young people to benefit directly from this commitment

Target: All ages 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-35

  • Young people in urban areas
  • Young people in rural areas
  • Young women
  • Young men
  • Youth with disabilities
  • Low-income individuals
  • Non-low income individuals
  • Young people with low levels of education and/or drop-outs
  • Graduates of second-level education and students in third-level education or beyond


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