The pandemic caused by the coronavirus led to the closing of schools, leaving students with a lot of time on their hands and nothing else to do. This has had different effects on youth around the world, some productive, some counterproductive.
Hassan and his friends were not used to a life of idleness or unproductivity, so the lockdown affected them especially. They decided to spend what free time they had learning skills that would benefit them in the long run, skills they acquired online through tools like YouTube, Google and online courses.
Hassan had always been fascinated by the creativity he saw in graphic designers. So he pursued his passion by learning from experts and taking advantage of online courses on his interests.
Miriam embarked on learning to bake and became very proficient at her new craft during the time the virus kept everyone indoors. She became so good at it that she received orders almost daily and even had students under her tutelage.
Teju learned video editing and quickly rose through the ranks of visual creativity among her peers who had begun the quest to acquire skills alongside her.
Pelumi honed his ability to organize and implement effective systems to help business owners. That skill set landed her an online job as a virtual assistant for a major brand.
By the time the lockdown was lifted, Hassan and his friends had developed several skills that set them apart by giving them an edge in the tough employment sector. These skills could still help them if they chose to be self-employed.
July 15 each year is a day to celebrate the creativity of young people who are trying to swim against the tide of unemployment by equipping themselves with skills that will give them an edge.
This year’s World Youth Skills Day celebrates the strides young people have made to become independent and creative using their skills and services. Despite the challenges of the previous year, they have turned around and invested heavily in developing skills that have significantly reduced unemployment rates in some parts of the world.
It is the youth who suffer the most from unemployment, as they find themselves at the mercy of others, which is unhealthy for their mental health. This is why they are celebrated for their resilience and ability to create pathways for themselves.
This day is also an opportunity to highlight the importance of youth equipping themselves with skills for employment or entrepreneurship and to highlight the barriers or challenges they face and how best to combat them.
Youth are changing their role in employment and it is hoped that the unemployment rate will decrease significantly by 2030.