Unemployment is a major problem affecting people around the world. ILO estimates that more than 61 million jobs have been lost globally since the start of the global economic crisis in 2008, leaving more than 200 million people unemployed. Over the next decade nearly 500 million jobs need to be created to absorb those currently unemployed and the 40 million new annual entrants to the labour market. Close to 90% of this job creation needs to take place in the developing world, primarily Africa and Asia. Rising youth unemployment, especially for young women, is one of the most significant problems facing economies and societies today, in developed and developing countries. The youth unemployment rate is nearly three times that of the rest of the population.
Despite the availability of workers, record numbers of employers (45%) report difficulty filling jobs with people with the right skills and knowledge needed and the ability to continually adapt to the role.
At the same time, in order to respond to global challenges, workplaces need continually to change work practices and processes and, as a result, employees need persistently to upskill and learn.
This brings into question the ability of education institutions to prepare people adequately for the workforce.
This employability online forum will explore the identified issues examining problems related to the preparation of people for the workplace. The forum will consider the changing nature of work, for example, what it means to be ‘employable’ to work in ways that tackle global challenges. With emphasis placed on innovation, new models of partnership working between education and industry will be explored. Participants will discuss what education and training systems need to do to adapt to enable people to continually learn skills and knowledge to maintain their employability. From this perspective, there is no end point to learning and people have to be equipped to learn across their whole lives to be able to adapt to changing workplaces. Participants will consider the mindset and skills educators themselves need to develop to support the development of this form of continual lifelong learning to enable people to remain employable.
Ideas from the forum will be assimilated into a ‘green paper’ on the future of education to support employability in ways that address global challenges.