World Youth Skills Day - History, Significance, Theme

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 7, 2022, 8:31

World Youth Skills Day is an international observance held annually on 15 July. The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed it in November 2014 to highlight the importance of investing in youth skills development.

World skills day aims to raise awareness about the need for equipping young people with skills for employability, entrepreneurship, and self-employment. The day seeks to encourage Member States to address challenges and seize opportunities related to youth skills development, which can be achieved through greater cooperation among governments, employers' and workers' organizations, and relevant stakeholders.

Historical Significance of the World Youth Skills Day

The World Youth Skills Day is a United Nations (UN) international day that celebrates the importance of investing in youth skills development. The day intends to "raise awareness on the importance of investing in youth skills development" with that in mind. It aims to encourage governments, employers, industries, training providers, and other stakeholders to address the global challenge of a lack of technical, vocational education and training (TVET) for young people.

UNESCO's former Director-General Irina Bokova described it as "a major opportunity to highlight what is at stake: how to provide youth with socio-economic empowerment and a sense of dignity." The first World Youth Skills Day was marked on 15 July 2015.

Why Is the World Youth Skills Day Important?

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development urges the international community to "ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all." In a world where technological advances are changing the nature of jobs, skills education and training can help youth find productive employment and decent work, thus contributing to poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth.

Youth skills development is essential to build a strong and productive workforce, which, in turn, is key to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). While an increasing number of young people are acquiring technical and vocational skills in both formal and informal settings, far too many remain without viable options for decent employment, livelihood, or entrepreneurship opportunities.

Skills development can help youth realize their full potential and secure a better future for themselves and their communities.

Why Do We Celebrate World Youth Skills Day?

On World Youth Skills Day, we recognize that the world's future depends on our ability to give young people the skills they need to transform their lives and communities. Various young people are neither in employment, education or training. A lack of skills is at the core of this issue. This is why we must work together as governments, businesses, and civil society to equip our young people with the necessary skills for decent jobs, entrepreneurship, and innovation.

We should also recognize that many young entrepreneurs do possess such skills. They deserve support to bring their ideas to life and sustainably improve their livelihoods and those around them. World Youth Skills Day is a reminder that when we invest in youth, we invest in our shared future.

World Youth Skills Day is a celebration of the skills and abilities of young people and their contributions to society. The theme for 2021 was Reimagining Youth Skills Post-pandemic—a chance to celebrate young people and their earnest desire to learn and acquire new skills they have gained throughout their lives.

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FAQs on World Youth Skills Day

Q.1) When is World Youth Skills Day celebrated every year?

15 July is celebrated as World Youth Skills Day every year.

Q.2) What was the World Youth Skills Day theme for 2021?

The theme of the World Skills Day 2021 for youth was 'Reimagining Youth Skills Post-pandemic.'

Q.3) What is the significance of the World Youth Skills Day?

Youth skills are significant for a country's economic growth and social stability. They also play a role in sustainable development. For example, they can help eliminate poverty, provide better health care, reduce gender inequality, and more.