"To be employed is to be at risk. To be employable is to be secure."
Of the world's estimated 211 million unemployed people in 2009, nearly 40 percent - or about 81 million - were between the ages of 15 and 24, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). Unemployment among young people has risen for many years in all parts of the world, in developed and less developed countries. There are many causes, yet one major and persistent factor is a lack of skills in young people, making them less employable.
Employability is understood in many different ways. Many equate employability with finding employment, which in turn is often associated with formal education. However, employability is more than just getting a new job or formal education. For youth to be employable, they need the confidence, knowledge and skills that will help to secure a job, to be successful in it and remain adaptable and flexible to change skills or jobs when required in a changing environment. In other words, it is also about having the soft skills not necessarily acquired through formal training or education.
For young people who lost parental care or who are at risk of losing it, finding a job may be even more challenging. Some reasons may include a lack of soft skills, such as communication skills or problem-solving abilities; lack of information on the type of employment opportunities available; or little understanding of the demands within a working environment. Such skills are advantageous in today's competitive job market. Mainly, however, the problem for this group lies in inadequate education, training and exposure to prepare them for the challenges and opportunities offered in the current economic environment.
One possible explanation is that many young people who lost parental care or are at risk of losing it have had disrupted school careers and have faced a great deal of instability in many aspects of their lives. Apart from limited access to quality education they also lack the support and guidance needed to build their confidence, find their way and make sense of the complexities associated with employability. In a job market that puts a high premium on academic skills, achievement as well as how a person interacts and presents themselves, this will severely limit their chances.
This workshop will look into the prerequisites for the employability of young people. SOS Children’s Villages, together with DHL as a partner, will share their relevant work experience with young people.
National Advocacy Advisor, SOS Children’s Villages Croatia
Member of the I Matter International Youth Council
de Beer, Coenraad
Programme Development Advisor, SOS-Kinderdorf International, Austria
Vice President Corporate Responsibility-GoTeach, Deutsche Post DHL, Bonn, Germany
Executive Manager BIWAK and BEWO Youth Facilities, Austria
Senior Program Manager GoTeach,Corporate Public Policiy and Responsibilty Deutsche Post DHL, Germany