World Youth Skills Day 2023: Date, Theme, History, Significance and Facts

In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly declared July 15 as World Youth Skills Day (WYD) to celebrate the strategic importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. The day provides a unique opportunity for dialogue between young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, businesses, employers, policy makers, etc. The Skill India Mission was also launched on that day i.e. 15th July.

The day also highlights the important role of empowered youth in addressing current and future global challenges. It is known that Skill India is a central government initiative that was launched to boost the skills of youth and make them more employable and more productive in their work environment.

This year too, World Youth Skills Day will take place in a challenging context due to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown measures that have led to the global closure of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions. ), alarming the vitality of skill development. .

According to UNESCO, it is estimated that almost 70% of the world’s students are affected by school closures at all educational levels. The survey of TVET institutions conducted jointly by UNESCO, the International Labor Organization (ILO) and the World Bank reported that distance education is now the most common way of transmitting skills with considerable difficulties in relation to, among other things, the adaptation of study plans, the preparation of trainees and trainers and connectivity. , or evaluation and certification processes.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1 in 6 young people are currently without work. At a time when young people are called upon to contribute to the recovery effort, they need to be equipped with the skills to successfully manage the challenges ahead and therefore the resilience to adapt to future shocks.

World Youth Skills Day 2023: theme and event

According to the official UN website, the theme of World Youth Skills Day 2023 is “Empowering teachers, trainers and youth for a transformative future.” It highlights the essential role that teachers, trainers and other educators play in providing skills for young people to transition into the labor market and actively participate in their communities and societies.

The theme for World Youth Skills Day 2021 is “Reimagining Youth Skills Post-Pandemic”. The Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka and Portugal to the UN, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, UNESCO and the ILO will host a virtual event that will provide an opportunity to reflect on the skills needed today and for the future. The day takes place against a challenging backdrop, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic resulting in widespread disruption to the TVET industry.

In 2020, an online roundtable will be organized focusing on skills for resilient youth in the era of COVID-19 and beyond. Various virtual events focused on the theme “Skills for a resilient youth”. The impact of the COVID-19 crisis on skills development and therefore exploring strategies in response to the developing economic crisis. This will help prepare young people to develop their skills to respond to rapid changes in employment and entrepreneurship in the sectors most affected by the crisis. Therefore, we can say that in the long term this is to adapt the skills development systems to the changes in the world economy that the COVID-19 pandemic and recession will bring.

About the event:

The event is organized by the Permanent Missions of Sri Lanka and Portugal to the United Nations, the Office of the Secretary-General’s Envoy on Youth, UNESCO and the ILO. The virtual event brings together young people, United Nations Member States, TVET institutions, the private sector, workers’ organizations, policy makers and development partners.

In India, the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship organized a digital conclave to mark the occasion.

World Youth Skills Day: History

July 15 is declared World Youth Skills Day through the adoption of a resolution of the United Nations General Assembly in December 2014. The main objective of the day is to achieve better socio-economic conditions for today’s youth in terms of unemployment and underemployment challenges. .

World Youth Skills Day: Importance

Youth unemployment is increasing, which is the most important problem facing the world’s current economies and societies, both for developed and developing countries. According to the latest Global Youth Trends 2020: technology and the future of employment, since 2017, there has been an increasing trend in the number of young people not in work, education or training (NEET).

Around 259 million youth in 2016 were classified as NEET and this number increased to approximately 267 million in 2019 and is said to increase to around 273 million in 2021. In percentage terms, the trend is slightly higher at 21.7% in 2015 to 22.4% in 2020, which implies that the international objective of reducing the NEET rate by 2020 will not be achieved.

In 2014, the General Assembly declared to celebrate World Youth Skills Day on 15 July with the aim of providing an opportunity for young people, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions and stakeholders in the sectors public and private recognize and celebrate the importance. to prepare young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship.

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World Youth Skills Day: Role of Technical and Vocational Education and Training

In the 2030 Agenda, education and training are essential to achieve it. The vision of the Incheon Declaration: Education 2030 is fully reflected in Sustainable Development Goal 4 “Ensure comprehensive, equitable and quality education and develop lifelong learning opportunities for all.”

Education 2030 pays attention to the development of technical and vocational skills, primarily a focus towards affordable quality Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). With this, the acquisition of technical and vocational skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship; eliminating gender disparity and ensuring access for the vulnerable.

TVET addresses the various demands of an economic, social and environmental nature by helping young people and adults to develop the necessary skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. It also promotes equitable, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, and supports transitions towards green economies and environmental sustainability.

It also helps provide the skills needed for self-employment. TVET also improves responsiveness to changing skills demand by businesses and communities, increases productivity and raises wage levels. It reduces barriers to entry into the world of work through on-the-job learning and ensures that the skills acquired are recognized and certified.

For low-skilled people, TVET also offers skills development opportunities for underemployed and unemployed people, out-of-school youth and people not in education, work or training (NEET).

World Youth Skills Day 2020: key facts

– Worldwide, one in five people is NEET and does not work, study or receive training. Three out of four young NEETs are women.

– Between 1997 and 2017, the youth population grew by 139 million and the youth workforce population decreased by 58.7 million.

– Nearly 2 in 5 young workers in emerging and developing economies live on less than $3.10 a day.

– Before the current crisis, young people were three times more likely than adults (aged 25 and over) to be unemployed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more than 1 in 6 young people are currently without work.

– For more than 100 years, combining distance learning with the development of practical skills has proven to be effective in TVET. In 1910, due to the typhoid epidemic and an urgent need, Australia introduced its first distance learning TVET courses to train correspondence health inspectors on the job.Source:,,

Important days and dates in July 2023

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