The importance of developing the skills of young people: World Youth Skills Day 2018

15 July 2018

 By Claire Smith – Senior Strategist (Talent & Skills Lead), 15th July 2018

Today we join with others to recognise the importance of developing the skills of young people on World Youth Skills Day 2018! Young people are vital to our futures and we believe championing their skill development through technical, vocational education, training and development will help close the well documented skills gap and ultimately help #SkillsChangeLives.

With more than half a million companies struggling to fill vacancies, yet still high youth unemployment, businesses need to take a more active role in helping prepare young people with the skills and attitudes needed in the world of work. Beyond filling this skills gap, businesses need to constantly innovate and change to retain a competitive edge in a dynamic market and young people are uniquely placed to address both issues.

The business case for engaging young people is clear:

“The greater the different types of people we employ – ages, gender and cultural background – the greater diversity of thought and the more innovative we become.”

Val Stevensen, HR Director, Deloitte LLP

 “Businesses, big and small, can all help get more young people in the workplace. The digital economy has been a key driver in the economic recovery, but without the relevant skills, we won’t be able to fulfil our potential. As digital natives, young people are perfectly placed to fill this gap.”

Ann Pickering, HR Director, Telefonica

“Employers play a central role when it comes to improving young people’s access to the labour market, and it is vital that organisations bring in young people if they are to build the skills they need for future success.”

Katerina Rüdiger, Head of Volunteering and Employability Campaigns, CIPD

While many organisations see the value of engaging young people, it can still be a challenge to find and retain talent. With today’s 7 to 13-year olds already thinking about what their future jobs might be and 14 to 25-year olds already forming their attitudes about employers and work, that engagement needs to start earlier than you might expect. As immediate and future employees, engaging with them effectively is critical to ensure the quality of your talent pipeline and enhance your future competitive advantage in business.

At We are Futures, we’re passionate about mobilising the ambitions and skills of new generations to build a better future for themselves and for our world. We help organisations achieve this by future-proofing their businesses, developing skills, attitudes and competencies amongst young people and employees to feed their business and sector talent needs.

If you’d like to know more about how we can support you to engage young people in your organisation and help #SkillsChangeLives then please contact Sam Noakes on 020 3194 4228, or email 

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