Worldwide, more young people than ever are participating in education. But despite these gains, youth unemployment remains at historically high levels. Additionally, businesses all over the world report serious problems in matching available talent with unfilled jobs. In 2016, some 40 per cent of employers surveyed in 43 countries and territories reported skills shortages. Quality apprenticeships offer a solution that benefits everyone: creating a reliable path to stable employment and higher income for young people while meeting the needs of enterprises. While the benefits of formal apprenticeship systems are not in dispute, the real challenge lies in implementing and scaling them up, particularly in developing countries.
Decent Jobs for Youth facilitates unique collaborations between enterprises and vocational education and training institutions, with the goal of combining classroom learning with practical workplace training. At country and regional level, we support the review of frameworks and policies on apprenticeships and the development of innovative strategies that incorporate entrepreneurial and digital skills into school curricula. This approach is reinforced by advocacy and knowledge sharing, allowing us to mobilize resources and share lessons learned on a global scale. By implementing pilot apprenticeship programmes in selected sectors, we support the development of demand-driven training models, designed to equip young people with market-relevant skills.
The ILO and UNESCO are committed to leading on this thematic priority. Decent Jobs for Youth brings together a growing number of partners who are committed to scaling up quality apprenticeship programmes that are mutually beneficial for young people and enterprises.