Washington: The World Bank and Unicef announced a new commitment to promoting education, skills and training for young people in developing countries with the goal of boosting their employment prospects.
The partnership will align $1 billion in World Bank investments with Generation Unlimited, a new global initiative, currently hosted by Unicef. The investments are also an important component of the World Bank Group’s Human Capital Project, which is mobilising countries to deliver more effective investments in people – especially young people – as a key pathway to jobs in today’s changing world of work.
Launched just over six months ago, Generation Unlimited aims to help prepare the world’s 1.8 billion young people for the transition to work and engaged citizenship, by connecting secondary-age education and training to employment and entrepreneurship. This is the largest cohort of young people in history, but many of them are the victims of global education and training crisis so they are not equipped to enter the workplace.
“As millions of young people enter the workforce in developing countries, it matters to them and to the whole world that they can find decent jobs,” said Kristalina Georgieva, Chief Executive Officer of the World Bank. “With the right skills and the right opportunities, young people can drive global growth and prosperity, but we cannot take this for granted. We must work together to invest in education, training, jobs and entrepreneurship so they can reach their potential.”
Young people are almost three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. Without decent jobs and the dignity of work, millions of them will be shut out of global progress toward growth, prosperity and stability.
Henrietta Fore, Unicef Executive Director, added, "Let’s increase investment in young people now, by transforming education systems and scaling up skills training. We need to open up opportunities to the futures of millions of young people."
“Through this World Bank and Unicef collaboration, Generation Unlimited can help support this transformation and create a skilled cohort of young people better prepared to form flourishing economies and peaceful and prosperous societies,” she said.
At the core of the partnership is connecting secondary-age education and training to employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, so that young people can succeed in a changing world. The World Bank’s financial commitment is expected to focus on accelerating curriculum changes so that education aligns with workplace demands; improving access to skills programs; stepping up efforts t match job-seekers with employment and entrepreneurship opportunities, and equipping young people with the problem-solving skills required to succeed in the new working world.