Why ‘World Youth Skills Day’ should be celebrated

A quarter of the world’s workforce is made up of young people — here’s why this date is important.

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July 15 marks ‘World Youth Skills Day’ — an opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment and entrepreneurship.

According to the latest data from the International Labour Organisation, since 2017 there has been an upward trend in the number of youth not in employment, education or training (NEET).

In 2016 there were 259 million young people classified as NEET — a number that increased in 2019 to 267 million, and is projected to grow to around 273 million by 2021.

While the rising youth unemployment is one of the biggest problems economies and societies around the world currently face, Travel & Tourism has proven in the past to be a tool for providing opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour as well as for other groups who may have difficulty in finding employment.

Our data showcases that in many countries, youth employment in Travel & Tourism has been significantly higher than for the overall economy. Moreover, by employing and training young people, Travel & Tourism contributes to peace, poverty reduction, inclusive & sustainable economic growth and develops relevant skills and knowledge for the future.

So yes, Travel & Tourism undoubtedly matters. But we also require policies to support youth employment which provide high-quality training and improve the perception of industry jobs. And we need policies that have a more indirect influence, building the quality and skills of general human resources and enabling a flexible labour market.

It is important now more than ever in the era of COVID-19 and beyond, that while we work on the recovery of our sector, we support and contribute as well towards equipping the youth with the skills to successfully manage evolving challenges and the resilience to adapt to future disruptions.

As a sector and a global organisation we want our youth to have every possible opportunity to develop their full potential, thrive and shape the future of Travel & Tourism.

Here are some of WTTC Members, industry organisations, and governments currently offering opportunities for skills development:

Google — Grow with Google

Expedia — Expedia Group Academy

American Express — Small business resource center


McKinsey & Company — Generation Platform

The European Commission — Europass platform

IATA Learning


Cvent — Cvent Academy

Gov.uk — Career Skills & Training

This post was written by Veronica Magoja, Head of Social, World Travel & Tourism Council.

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