It goes without saying that 2020 has taken a toll on all aspects of life especially with the youth. The class of 2020 will definitely find it relatable, with the struggle to graduate with ease and venture into the world of their dream job. According to the United Nations, youth unemployment is one of the rising problems that most economies are facing even in developed countries! There has been an upward trend in the number of youth but not in employment. World Youth Skills Day is a day we dedicate to youth and their talents, it is a chance to acknowledge their potential and take a turn for the best. It is time to rethink what we call as skills, because the world is changing and we should not let the pandemic stop us. In fact it could be a window that opens our mind to new ways of thinking.
PREPARING FOR JOBS WE CAN CREATE
We all grew up in a world where a set of skills designed for a job that already existed were taught to us. That seemed enough back then, but in the millennial era, it hardly is. A study by the World Economic Forum says that 65% of children in primary school today will end up working in completely new jobs that don’t exist yet. This sounds exciting and daunting at the same time, doesn’t it? Exciting because, the millennial youth are all about taking the plunge into something new, and daunting because, are they really equipped for what lies ahead? Almost 1.5 billion children around the world may never return to school again because they lack the support to continue distance learning. With the pandemic showing no signs of being kind anytime soon, we choose to look at the bright side and that is digital advancement. A physical classroom, workshop or a workspace cubicle is no longer a necessity to up our skill set. If we look closely, all we really need is a smart phone and internet connectivity to learn. Give youth the right direction and they can truly change the future.
FOSTER THE RIGHT SKILLS
With technology growing at an exponential rate, millennial youth today are defying generational stereotypes. They can pleasantly surprise the world with their out of box thinking and fresh ideas. The advent of AI, gig economy, and startup culture has given them a new sense of independence and freedom. We should sensitize children and youth to new technologies and encourage them towards experiential learning. It empowers them to become better equipped to face the future. Creativity is an endless bounty to explore. So many youngsters are turning to digital platforms to showcase their creativity. Abhimanyu for example has mastered Reddit as a creative outlet during lockdown and several of his posts have gone viral. Blogging and vlogging are an extremely viable and effective medium to create and build businesses.
Blogging gives us the chance to become experts in our own fields and learn. Years ago, who would have thought that writing on an online journal or posting content on a visual platform could lead to a successful profession? But it has. 36% of the millennial youth and 29% of the GenZ have the skills to thrive in the 4.0 World. Aritro is a top blogger collaborating with several brands and also teaches English globally, all through the internet! The skills required to become a successful blogger, a YouTuber or influencer can be acquired online. With classrooms shifting online, the future is sure to see an enhancement in learning. This makes it easier for youth to find platforms to learn almost anything they want to!
WHAT ABOUT SKILLS BEYOND TECHNOLOGY?
Along with an upgrade in technological skills and knowledge, there are intangible soft skills too. If worked upon, they can contribute to 60% of workplace success. Emotional and behavioural skills can do wonders and bridge the growing disconnect we so often see at workplaces. We talk about learning, but learning how to learn is also an important skill we shouldn’t miss out on. Reading intelligently, spotting trends, being aware and sensitive are all skills this evolving world needs more of. In a world moving so fast, Yashovardhan with his team ensured his visually challenged friend and more like him also get to experience the internet like we all do. He managed to create games completely accessible for visually challenged! Youth like them and more are capable of making history for us. We maybe part of a historical moment, why not make it groundbreaking and amazing?
We think it is the perfect time to start talking to our youth about what matters right now- Problem solving, navigating through difficult situations decision making, cognitive flexibility, communication, and self management. There need not be panic. We can steer them in the right direction to becoming resilient – one of the key factors to not just survive but excel in a world post pandemic.