Youth Unemployment

Every so often an educational campaign blows me away…

Provocative — and moving. Absolutely love it.

United Colors of Benetton has rolled out a campaign addressing youth unemployment. They’re on a mission to bring awareness to the amount of jobless youth in the world and show the talent of the younger generation.

Within the campaign is a contest called “Unemployee of the Year.” It is open to unemployed youth, ages 18 to 30, from around the world. They are being challenged to submit ideas for projects that will improve lives in their communities — a surefire way to creating positive change!!  The 100 projects with the most votes will be given € 5000 each from the UNHATE Foundation.

The campaign is bound to create awareness on youth unemployment in our community, get people talking and get young people taking action.

Youth Unemployment Crisis

“In 2011, 74.8 million youth aged 15–24 were unemployed, an increase of more than 4 million since 2007. The global youth unemployment rate, at 12.7 per cent, remains a full percentage point higher than the pre-crisis level. Globally, young people are nearly three times as likely as adults to be unemployed. In addition, an estimated 6.4 million young people have given up hope of finding a job and have dropped out of the labour market altogether. Even those young people who are employed are increasingly likely to find themselves in part-time employment and often on temporary contracts. As the number and share of unemployed youth is projected to remain essentially unchanged in 2012, and as the share of young people withdrawing from the labour market altogether continues to rise, on the present course there is little hope for a substantial improvement in near-term employment prospects for young people.” – International Labour Organization


The amount of young people I know in our local community that are unemployed or under-employed is huge. In Vancouver, youth unemployment is at 14.3% {and that number has increased throughout the year}. Students and new graduates are encouraged to volunteer, take unpaid internships and work for minimum wage. Gaining experience is one thing — but I believe that many are forgetting about the generation gap and the huge problem our economy is going to have as the older generation retires.

Research shows that the world will need to create over 600 million more jobs in the next 10 years. 600 million. That’s a boat load.

Soon enough we’re going to have to forget about the education experience we ‘require’… and start training in-house, taking a leap and setting young people up for success. There is a lot to be said for drive, ambition and commitment — none of which are taking into consideration in typical recruiting processes.

Here’s what I know:

We need more young people in the workforce.

We need to believe in them.

We need to give them opportunities to develop their skill set — and shine.

High five to United Colors of Benetton for giving jobless youth a voice.

PS – If you want to learn more about the global employment crisis, check out this report from the International Labour Organization. Great read.


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