Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Re-Connecting a Generation

Is youth unemployment the real apocalypse? Jobless youth are being compared to global warming. A problem at risk of being put in the “too hard” basket. Look at the figures and you can understand why. In Greece and Spain, the unemployment rate for people aged under 24 is nearing 60%. In Italy and Portugal, that figure is closing in on 40%.

Identifying the causes of youth unemployment is much easier than coming up with the right responses. This is a problem for individuals, their families and communities. There is no universal solution. With surplus money running dry in the worst hit countries, and with the battle lines laid out between political hues, there are no easy answers. The question is whether there are even enough jobs in the world to match population growth.

We are at risk of watching a generation become disconnected from society because of the lack of opportunity for them to contribute to the growth of society. There is no escaping the fact that countries with the lowest rates of youth unemployment have the strongest economies. And at the heart of those economies is education.

Here are six ideas how we can re-connect a generation:
  • Partner more schools with local businesses, trade academies, and universities

  • Run career days for every age from 11 up

  • Introduce entrepreneurial skills as a subject in primary schools

  • Create start-up hubs that provide free internet access and basic business amenities for young graduates starting out

  • Cities should run competitions that challenge youth to find solutions to civic problems

  • Sing together. Singing keeps your spirits up, elevates parts of you that don’t often get to rise up. And you could be a YouTube phenomenon.

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