Society, Values & Ethics
A. Description of the issue
Youth is one of the world’s most precious
resources. The creation of opportunities for
young people in the labour market and
investment in their education and health are
critical instruments to reduce poverty and
ensure sustainable economic growth.
Unemployment and underemployment have remained disproportionately high
for young people worldwide, even with significant economic growth.
According to the ILO, in the next ten years, 1.2 billion young people will enter
the global labour market. Efficient policies to effectively tackle structural
unemployment among young people by creating opportunities and enhancing
their employability are urgently needed.
Globalization requires an increasingly skilled and educated workforce. Youth
education and the creation of trainee opportunities are among the best ways
to facilitate the successful entry into the national and, in particular, the global
labour markets. Education also plays an important role in forming the citizens
of the future, individuals who are respectful of human rights and cultural
differences and who understand the challenges of sustainable development.
What new educational and training strategies need to be created by
governments and the private sector to prepare the next generations for the
challenges of the future?
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• Education: Education is critical to developing a skilled workforce that
meets the needs of increasingly interconnected and tech-savvy
economies. Experts are starting to focus on the more intangible skills
like leadership, values and an entrepreneurial attitude to develop the
• Youth unemployment: Unemployment and underemployment among
young people are disproportionately high. What structural factors cause
this situation and what are the best strategies to improve it?
• Gender issues: There are significant differences in education, salaries
and job opportunities between women and men nearly everywhere in
the world. Too often young women remain an untapped resource in
labour markets. However, they could play an important role in improving
long-term economic performance. The link between economic growth
and the employment of women has been widely documented by
• Emerging economies: Education is central to sustaining economies
that demand more than basic skills. Companies have difficulty
developing their operations if they cannot find the right talent.
• Urban migration: The phenomenon of rural-urban migration, fuelled by
stagnating rural economies, affects a great number of young people.
The increasing demand for opportunities and livelihoods in cities poses
• International migration: Young people are more likely to decide to
move to places where new opportunities can be found. They form the
biggest share of legal or illegal migrants who play an important role in
the global economy.
• Youth unemployment and crime: It has been argued that youth
unemployment and poverty are factors that can fuel conflict and crime
• Retirement age and youth unemployment: Will decisions on the
retirement of elderly people affect the opportunities of young people
entering the labour market?
1.90 | Summit on the Global Agenda
List of Members
*José Ignacio Avalos Hernández, Chief Executive Officer, President
and Founder, Gente Nueva, Mexico
*Jeroo Billimoria, Executive Director, Aflatoun, Child Social and Financial
*Martin Burt, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Fundación Paraguaya,
Wataru Iwamoto, Director, Division of Social Sciences, Research and
Policy, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
*Karim Kawar, President, Kawar Group, Jordan
*Rick R. Little, Chairman, Silatech Organizing Team, Qatar Foundation,
Martina Milburn, Chief Executive, The Prince’s Trust, United Kingdom
*Kim Samuel-Johnson, Director, Samuel Group of Companies, Canada
Zola Sidney Themba Skweyiya, Minister of Social Development of
Tarik M. Yousef, Dean, Dubai School of Government, United Arab
* Confirmed participation in the Summit on the Global Agenda
Council Manager: Matthias Catón Senior Director: Fiona Paua
Forum Lead: Martina Gmur
1.91 | Summit on the Global Agenda