New UNESCO Report: $1 Invested in Youth Skills Can Pay Back Fifteen-Fold in Economic Growth

Bangladesh © UNESCO/BRAC16 October 2012 – The 2012 Global Monitoring Report on Education for All, “Youth and Skills: Putting Education to Work”, was launched today by UNESCO.

The Report shows that every $1 invested in education and youth skills in developing countries generates $10-$15 in economic growth. This means that around 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty if all students in poor countries had basic reading skills.

The need for equipping young people with skills is urgent in rich countries too. In some European nations, a fifth of those aged 18 to 24 dropped out with no more than lower secondary schooling, and lack the skills they need to find a job. In Central and South Eastern Europe, almost one in five young people are unemployed.

The economic downturn has exacerbated youth unemployment and made skills for young people even more essential. According to Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO, “the best answer to the economic downturn and youth unemployment is to ensure that young people acquire the basic skills and relevant training they need to enter the world of work with confidence”.

The Report recommends that the following actions be taken to support skills development for young people:

1. Young people, especially the disadvantaged, need a second chance to learn foundation skills.

2012 Global Monitoring Report on Education for All, “Youth and Skills: Putting Education to Work” © UNESCO2. Young people need good quality training in relevant foundation skills at lower secondary school.

3. Upper secondary curricula should provide a balance between vocational and technical skills, including IT, and transferable skills such as confidence and communication which translate easily to the work place. Apprenticeships are a proven way to provide a bridge between school and work, but need to be provided on an equal basis to all young people.

4. $US8 billion is needed to ensure all young people go to lower secondary school in poor countries. Governments as well as donors and the private sector must help fill the financing gap.

To download the Report and/or its Summary in various languages, please click here.

Follow the Report on Twitter and Facebook.

Source: UNESCO Press Release

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The 2012 Education for All Global Monitoring Report highlights the urgent need to give young people the skills they need for work. Now we need your help to tell governments and policy makers what to do!

You can submit texts, photos, send a tweet or vote in our poll. We will collect your voices in an online newspaper, which we will deliver to ministries of education worldwide at the start of the New Year. For more information on what you can do, please click here.

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