The International Labour Organization (ILO) reports that 66 million young people worldwide were unemployed in 2018, while more than 149 million youth were working but living in poverty.
In the face of the challenges young women and men around the world face in finding decent jobs that earn a living wage, millions of jobs for people requiring advanced digital skills are going unfilled worldwide. Research estimates that there will be tens of millions of jobs for people with advanced digital skills in the coming years, with some economies predicting a talent gap for workers with advanced digital skills and others ranking ICT specialists among their fastest-growing jobs. Not only do these jobs exist, but they are also often well-paying jobs where workers earn more than their counterparts who lack advanced digital skills.
Towards a Solution
Although many young people use the Internet and are considered “digital natives” the majority of youth do not possess job-relevant digital skills. This includes high-level skills required to create information and communication technologies (ICTs) and more basic skills needed to use ICTs for employment-related tasks. Because of this, they are unable to obtain decent jobs requiring basic, intermediate and advanced digital skills sought by a growing number of employers or which enable young people to work as digital entrepreneurs. Equipping youth with sought-after skills opens up opportunities for young people to pursue careers and businesses both in the booming technology industry and in other sectors of the economy. The range of skills required include:
- Basic digital skills: related to the effective use of technology, necessary in most professions. They include web research, online communication, use of professional online platforms and digital financial services
- Intermediate digital skills: these skills include digital graphic design and marketing, desktop publishing and social media management both for job and entrepreneurship opportunities
- Advanced digital skills: related to technology development such as coding, software, and app development, cybersecurity and network management as well as 4th Industrial Revolution digital skills like machine learning, big data analysis, Internet of Things and blockchain technology
Both non-formal and formal training providers through a variety of mechanism: from rapid technology skill development training ( such as coding boot camps) and apprenticeships to changes in formal education programs to build the capacity of teachers to instruct their students and to include computational thinking and digital skills in school curricula as core competencies. The campaign also draws attention to the need for more focus and research on digital skills training geared specifically towards young women, a young person with disabilities and indigenous young people.
The Digital Skills for Decent Jobs for Youth Campaign incentivizes a range of stakeholders to provide training opportunities to equip 5 million young people with job-ready,transferable digital skills by 2030.
The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has developed the Digital Skills Toolkit and shared this knowledge resources to support governments in integrating digital skills training within their policy frameworks and programme. By sharing guidelines and good practices collected from a variety of stakeholders, this resources can be used to develop a comprehensive national digital skills strategy or focus on specific priorities relevant tonational context.
The campaign will be conducted to ensure that, after its closure, the beneficiaries have the capacity to sustain the project on their own. Emphasis will be put on beneficiary ownership as it remains a key element to sustainability. Interventions on developing systems, strategies, structural change of relevant institutions, engagement of concerned private sector employers, strengthening digital community clubs and other local institutions, community ownership through innovative approaches will ensure sustainability of the project. Several mechanisms to facilitate knowledge transfer are built into the project, the effectiveness of which will lead to sustainability within Bangladesh.