Why is there such wide-scale youth unemployment while vacancies remain unfilled?
Consultancy firm McKinsey has published the results of a research project* into two related global crises – high levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of people with critical job skills.
- Worldwide young people (16-24) are three times more likely to be out of work than their parents.
- Global research suggest there are 75 million unemployed young people
- Youth unemployment rates in South Africa, Greece and Spain exceed 50%
- Only 43% of employers reported there was an adequate supply of qualified entry-level candidates
- Half of the young people interviewed were unclear that their further/higher education had improved their chances of finding work
- 36% of employers report a lack of skills is causing significant problems in terms of cost, quality and time
Are graduates ready for the job market?
There are striking differences between the stakeholder groups when it comes to assessing the job-readiness of graduates. Only 42% of employers and 45% of young people believe they are ready for the job market; 72% of educators believe they are.
A way forward
The research gathers some success stories but acknowledges there needs to be a massive scaling up. Its recommendations include:
- Collect and disseminate data – high quality data allows countries and approaches to be benchmarked
- Increase the number of sector-wide collaborations – the most transformative interventions have involved multi-partner, sector level initiatives
- Create a system that bridges the gap between educators and employers – current examples include Australia’s new Australian Workforce and Productivity Agency which has been established to drive greater collaboration between government, industry and educators.
*The research focuses on Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UK, US. Young people, employers and educators were involved in the project.
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