The digital economy is rapidly transforming the employment landscape across industries, including financial services, health, entertainment, transportation and of course, information and communication technologies (ICT). Millions of jobs requiring advanced digital skills will be created in the coming decade, but many countries are projecting a shortfall of skilled workers to fill these jobs. While young people are often considered “digital natives”, the reality is that the majority do not possess job-relevant digital skills. In particular, jobs requiring coding and other advanced ICT skills are going unfilled.
The growth potential of the digital economy presents an opportunity for tackling the youth employment challenge. In June 2017, the ILO and the ITU launched a campaign to bridge the current skills gap. The goal is to equip five million young people with digital skills – both basic and advanced – by 2030. This will be achieved by mainstreaming digital skills into school curricula, establishing comprehensive on-the-job training systems and mobilizing job creators in the public and private sector to employ young people in digital-centric jobs. There will also be a strong focus on fostering youth-led digital entrepreneurship.
The ILO and the ITU are committed to leading on this thematic priority. Decent Jobs for Youth brings together a growing number of partners who are committed to identifying and scaling up effective strategies for equipping young people with digital skills.