Youth Perspectives

This is what the world’s youth say they need for a secure future

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023 shows youth employment has not fully recovered after the pandemic.

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023 shows youth employment has not fully recovered after the pandemic. Image: Unsplash/Chang Duong

Simon Torkington
Senior Writer, Forum Agenda
Share:
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Education, Gender and Work is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Education, Gender and Work

Listen to the article

  • A majority of respondents to the global survey ‘What Young People Want’ said their highest priority was getting the education, skills and competencies to allow them to enter the workforce and build successful careers.
  • The survey findings will contribute to a Global Forum for Adolescents planned for October 2023.
  • The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2023 shows youth employment has not fully recovered after the pandemic.

Millions of young people around the world are demanding access to skills and learning opportunities to prepare themselves for the jobs of the future.

The findings of the "What Young People Want" survey, conducted by the Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH), reveal that education, skills and employment are a priority for a majority of the 700,000-plus respondents as essential for them to build a safe and prosperous future.

Young people people were asked to use their own words to answer this question: “To improve my well-being, I want...". The most frequently used words are highlighted in the illustration below.

A global survey of more than 700,000 young people has revealed their priorities.
A global survey of more than 700,000 young people has revealed their priorities. Image: Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH)

The continuing survey has a target to capture the views of more than a million young people before it concludes. The final results will inform the Global Forum for Adolescents in October 2023.

Discover

What is the World Economic Forum doing to improve digital intelligence in children?

Adolescents taking control of their futures

The interim results of the survey suggest young people are acutely aware of the challenges that will confront them in adulthood. From high living costs to pandemic disruptions, climate crisis and conflict, global youth are recognizing the need to equip themselves with the knowledge and competencies required for the workplace of the future.

Graphs illustrating the wants of a 15-19-year old age group.
The 15-19-year-old age group in particular prioritized education and skills. Image: Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health (PMNCH)

A majority of respondents said their highest priority was getting the education, skills and competencies to allow them to enter the workforce and build successful careers. The survey shows these priorities are particularly pronounced among those aged 15-19 and adolescent girls, who frequently cited the need for "learning opportunities" and "quality education".

The continuing impact of the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to exacerbate the challenges faced by young people, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. School closures have resulted in significant learning losses, with up to 70% of 10-year-olds in these countries unable to read or understand a simple text.

The findings of this survey align with the World Economic Forum's Future of Jobs Report 2023, which highlights the ongoing impact of the pandemic on global youth employment.

Employment deficits for young people remain high when compared to pre-pandemic levels in many regions of the world, with Southern Asia, Latin America, Northern Africa and Eastern Europe seeing the slowest recoveries.

To overcome these challenges and ensure young people are equipped for work in the digital economy, the Forum’s report emphasizes the need to urgently address the skills gap and invest in the education and training of young people. Aligning the skills of young people with the priorities identified by businesses will be critical to ensuring young people have the right mix of talents.

Infographic illustrating the top ten skill priorities for businesses for 2027.
Young people will need to attain the skills businesses require in the near future. Image: World Economic Forum

By equipping young people with the necessary skills and knowledge and providing them with supportive environments, we can empower them to become agents of change and contribute to a sustainable and prosperous future for all.

Have you read?
Loading...
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Youth PerspectivesEducation and Skills
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

2:12

Young people are becoming unhappier, a new report finds

Andrew Moose and Ruma Bhargava

April 5, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum