In Focus: International Youth Skills Day 2022


A girl is learning how to program a robotic-arm in Bangkok. Photo: UN Women/Ana Norman Bermudez

The youth of our countries are a dynamic population playing a vital role in the nation’s growth and development.

World Youth Skills Day, celebrated every year on 15 July, focuses on the strategic importance of equipping the young population with skills for employment, entrepreneurship, and work. The day focuses on the important role played by skilled youth in addressing current and future global challenges.

Today, UN Women spotlights young women who are breaking gender barriers and gaining skills and vocational training equipping themselves for a brighter future.

In statement by UN-SG

António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, 2022. Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe
António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, 2022. Photo: UN Photo/Eskinder Debebe

The Secretary-General's message on World Youth Skills Day

Young people are disproportionately impacted by interlinked global crises, from climate change to conflicts to persistent poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these fragilities. In 2020 alone, youth employment fell by 39 million. Today, 24 million young people remain at risk of not returning... Read more

Youth skills in the highlights

Ravina Kharat, FLIGHT, Govt ITI, Thane

Ravina Kharat. Photo: Courtesy of Ravina Kharat
Ravina Kharat. Photo: Courtesy of Ravina Kharat

Ravina Kharat is a restaurant worker from Thane, Maharashtra. The confident 25-year-old, who lives with her parents and younger siblings, completed a diploma in Hotel Management and was working as a ‘Captain’ at a local restaurant, managing orders and bookings, when she took a leap of faith and enrolled in the Computer Operator and Program Assistant (COPA) course in ITI, Thane. “My dream was always to learn more, to gain skills that would get me a better job,” she says.

She also participated in the financial literacy module of FLIGHT, which taught her the importance of financial management, especially managing her own money and investing in her future. “I have been working for more than five years now. My mother kept telling me to save money, but nobody told me how to do it. But now I can manage my own money and invest wisely.” The course has also boosted her confidence and self-esteem and she is confident of finding a better job. “FLIGHT has prepared me for the challenges ahead.”

Pallavi Sheering, Founder, Epicentre

Pallavi Sheering. Photo: Courtesy of Pallavi Sheering
Pallavi Sheering. Photo: Courtesy of Pallavi Sheering

When COVID-19 hit in 2020, Pallavi left her corporate job and followed her dream of working for the advancement of rural women and providing them with sustainable livelihood options. She started Epicentre, a social enterprise that connects rural and urban women and empowers them to co-create handmade products to generate income for both. Pallavi, a UN WEP signatory, was selected for the Youth Leadership Award in 2021, which brought the organisation the opportunity to participate in the Ecommerce Training held at Maldives for Women entrepreneurs across the globe, co-powered by The Commonwealth and UNESCAP.

“I do believe that the women in rural areas are way more organised and talented than the rest of women who may be more privileged in the way of the world. If I can partner with her, I have partnered with a Rural CEO of my company,” says Pallavi, who has traveled to over 2,500 villages in India and worked in multiple capacities to advance rural women’s entrepreneurship and rural development. “I am here to work for them and with them.”

Amruta Raccha, FLIGHT, ITI, Dadar, Mumbai

Amruta Raccha. Photo: Courtesy of Amruta Raccha
Amruta Raccha. Photo: Courtesy of Amruta Raccha

Amruta Raccha, is a 17-year-old from Byculla, a suburb of Mumbai, who dreams of starting her own software company. Amruta enrolled in the Information and Communication Technology System Maintenance Theory (ICTSM) course at ITI, Dadar as the first step towards achieving her dream. She was then selected for FLIGHT, which, she says “was a lucky break.”

Participating in the project has helped her learn new skills and hone existing ones. It has also taught her financial management and improved her communication skills. “I have started feeling confident as the sessions are activity-based and interactive,” says the aspiring entrepreneur. “My dream is to start my own software company and design new mobile applications and products. I would also like to support other women by giving them the opportunity to learn and work in my company. After participating in FLIGHT all of these seem possible.”

Youth skills in their stories

Natchaporn Namsirikul, Thai medical student and human rights activist

Natchaporn Namsirikul, on 15 February 2022, advocates for student activism on human rights. Photo courtesy of Winrada Khomate
Natchaporn Namsirikul. Photo courtesy of Winrada Khomate

"We also want to give medical students and youths the tools and knowledge to involve themselves in the movement for the health of the planet, as well as to pressure the authority to take concrete action to prevent further climate change. Firstly, what we hope to achieve in the future is a global community where people are aware of the environmental and gender issues that are the hot topics of today. We would like this conversation to continue and not lose traction ..." Read more

Devishi Jha, youth climate activist

Devishi Jha,18, is climate activist and Director of Partnerships at Zero Hour, an international youth-led climate justice organization. Photo courtesy of Devishi Jha
Devishi Jha. Photo courtesy of Devishi Jha

"I realized that I needed to speak out and advocate for marginalized communities who are most affected by the climate crisis, because it impacts people of different means and identities (such as) race, gender, ethnicity and sexuality, differently. I joined Zero Hour — an international youth-led climate organization — during my freshman year of high school. I speak up for climate action because I want a secure future for my generation and the generations after me ..." Read more

Nidhi Mayurika, young innovator and space enthusiast

Nidhi Mayurik. Photo: AKNR Chandra Sekhar
Nidhi Mayurik. Photo: AKNR Chandra Sekhar

"I started studying Astrobiology when I was 11 years old. I was fascinated by the vastness of the universe and wanted to know if life could exist everywhere. I started participating in the NASA Ames Space Settlement Contest in 2016. My first entry was Saikatam, which translates to ‘home away from home’ in Sanskrit, a three-layered space colony design for human settlement. In the subsequent years, I submitted two more projects for the contest – Soham ..." Read more

Ramida “Jennie” Juengpaisal, designer and developer of a COVID-19 tracker in Thailand

Ramida Juengpaisal, 24, from Thailand, is a digital product designer and front-end developer. Photo: Deachawat Sriolankul
Ramida Juengpaisal. Photo: Deachawat Sriolankul

"When the COVID-19 pandemic started, information kept spreading on social media without any proof or proper media coverage. I asked myself, 'why is there no place that gathers all the information about COVID-19 cases so that we can checkeasily?'. Thisquestion turned into the idea of developing a website that curates news and data about the virus. That was the beginning of "COVID Tracker by 5Lab". Social media plays a significant role in spreading fake news ..." Read more