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Got Skills? Show ‘Em Off This World Youth Skills Day!

Posted:
12 July 2022   |   by Explore Careers
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You probably can’t have a conversation about youth employment and careers without also hearing about skills.

Soft skills, hard skills, entrepreneurial skills, stretchy skills or work skills – it’s easy to be confused about all these skills and how exactly you’re supposed to get them!

When we talk about skills, we’re talking about a full remit of capabilities. Skills tend to start small and are built on over time. This will be through the opportunities you’re offered (at school, for example) and the opportunities you actively pursue.

Everyone’s skills will be different!

World Youth Skills Day 2022 is a chance to celebrate these differences but also helps young people better understand their skills in work and employment.

What is World Youth Skills Day?

World Youth Skills Day is acknowledged on the 15th of July each year. In 2014, the United Nations General Assembly decided to make this an annual event highlighting the importance of helping to equip people with the skills needed for employment, work and entrepreneurship.

Celebrating and acknowledging this annually gives us all a chance to reflect on the ongoing changes across various industries and the impact these changes have on the skills young people might need to focus on.

It’s a fantastic opportunity to further open the conversation between workplaces, young people and education providers to ensure everyone’s on the same page! (FYI – kinda what we’re all about here at Explore Careers!).

Ultimately, World Youth Skills Day hopes to keep everyone informed, forge better connections between young people and the world of work, and provide advice to policymakers responsible for ensuring young people get the best start in work after school.

How is World Youth Skills Day Making a Difference?

One of the core aims of World Youth Skills Day is to reduce some of the barriers young people commonly face in accessing career opportunities.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated several transitions in the workplace that were already happening, adding more layers of uncertainty around the desired skills and competencies that are currently in demand across various industries.

It’s no secret that bridging the gap between full-time education and full-time work has been an ongoing battle for young people.

World Youth Skills Day wants to help take the hard work out of uncovering what young people need now by:

  • Connecting employers and young people to better understand what each is looking for in the world of work.
  • Providing educational and insightful workshops for young people to learn more about future skills and what’s needed now.
  • Raising the bar for training providers to make sure what they offer meets demands and young people leave qualified and equipped for the workplace.
  • Addressing issues around access to training, qualifications and the workplace for ALL young people.
  • Making sure young people have a voice in this process!

Identifying Your Skills NOW: Our Top 3 Tips

If you missed it, we recently caught up with Richard Wallis, Managing Director for KFC APAC, and he said something that resonated with us: as a young person, you probably won’t have a lot of neatly defined skills – YET.

Skills come as you get out there and start grabbing hold of different experiences and seeing what they can teach.

It doesn’t mean you don’t have any skills yet, but reframing skills in this way can help you put on the right kind of growth mindset that sees you accepting where you’re at so you can start heading to where you want to be.

Here are our top three tips for identifying your skills right now:

1. Focus on where you’re at now.

Instead of worrying about what you lack, focus on what you can do. You’ll have the beginnings of lots of excellent skills and abilities. Just because they’re not fully formed and defined yet doesn’t mean they’re not valuable.

You might find our blog on skills versus attributes helpful here!

2. Think about what you want to be able to offer.

What skills are essential to you? What do you want to be known for, and how do you see yourself adding value in the workplace?

What types of activities make you feel energised and engaged? What skills are connected to these activities?

Answering these questions is a great way to start setting yourself up with starting points to build on over time! You can link different opportunities back to things, safely knowing they’re helping you get to where you want to be.

3. Learn how to be your biggest champion.

It’s easy to get stuck on the skills you don’t have or not being able to demonstrate your abilities without substantial experience, but if there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s that employers want to hear something way more important than all this.

They want to know you WANT to be there, that you’re curious, excited and willing to learn.

Focus on how you can champion these things for yourself, and you’re ahead of the game.

Where to Get Started this World Youth Skills Day?

You can join in this World Youth Skills Day by attending their HUGE online webinar focusing on the future of youth skills at work:

Virtual event: Transforming youth skills for the future

When: 15 July 2022, hybrid global event

Now, thanks to the greatness of time differences, you might be able to log into this one as it happens, but registering will mean you get sent a link to watch the webinar recording later.

Why not see if you can get a teacher to make this a whole-class event and start a conversation about youth skills and the future of work with your mates?

If there’s one thing we want you to remember when thinking about your skills, it’s that you’re just at the very beginning of a long journey – it’s definitely a marathon with lots of pit stops along the way!

Focus on where you want to go, and don’t be afraid to chase course when you need to.

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