Microsoft, a NFTE supporter and partner, along with the International Youth Foundation today unveiled Opportunity for Action, Preparing Youth for 21st Century Livelihoods. The report’s findings are startling for young people who are seeking employment, businesses that require new skill sets to remain competitive, and communities around the globe that are positioning themselves for economic development. Yet, despite detailing an array of issues that threaten to curtail economic growth the report offers specific opportunities for youth, policymakers, and private-sector enterprises to improve the situation.
From Latin America to the Middle East and Asia a “lack of access to quality education,” “a skills mismatch,” and a “vital need for decent working conditions” are all driving forces that threaten to restrain growth and development. The gloomy prospects are not limited to developing regions. Since the 2007 global economic crisis young people in Western Europe and the United States young people have “experienced the sharpest rise in unemployment on record for any part of the world.”
Microsoft, which commissioned the report, is creating change by spearheading a significant call to action. Brad Smith, Microsoft executive vice president and general counsel, said, “As the International Youth Foundation reports, unemployment has been on the rise for young people worldwide. More than ever, the public and private sectors need to work together to provide youth with access to education, skills, and better job opportunities. We must move from ‘opportunity divided’ to ‘opportunity provided’ for all.”
See how NFTE & Microsoft partnered together for our 2011 World Series of Innovation.