Young people to Davos leaders: More jobs, please

A UNICEF poll of 10,000 young people from more than 160 countries has a stark message: “We need more jobs and better education.”
By: | January 28, 2019


An online poll of 10,000 young people from over 160 countries, conducted by UNICEF, delivered one stark message to the leaders gathered at the World Economic Forum: “We need more jobs and better education.”

For the first time in its history, the Davos Forum named six Global Shapers below the age of 30 as co-chairs of the meeting – a decision which recognises that young people are the demographic group most affected by the far-reaching disruptions affecting the world of work.

“There are 1.8 billion young people between the ages of 10 and 24 today – the world’s largest-ever group of young people. Every month, 10 million reach working age – and they’re finding that yesterday’s skills no longer match today’s job market,” UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore said at a meeting in Davos bringing together the Forum’s three communities: Global Shapers, Young Global Leaders and Schwab Social Entrepreneurs.

“They want – and need – future skills for future work: digital skills, modern agriculture, green technology, and business and entrepreneurial skills. As a global community, business as usual isn’t good enoughm,” added Fore.

“The private sector has a pivotal role in helping close the skills gap, and giving young people the ladders of opportunity they need to reach their potential.”

There are 71 million unemployed youth. Over 150 million young people are working, but living on less than $3 a day.

The poll also found that:

  • The largest number of respondents – 35% – identified more job opportunities as their top priority.
  • The second most important ask, identified by 26% of respondents, was for better education.
  • Over three out of five (63%) felt that business leaders could do more to help young people succeed in today’s globalised world.