With nearly 75 million young people out of school and out of work, addressing youth unemployment is a challenge that reaches every corner of the world. From companies to colleges, communities to countries, creating employment opportunities and pathways for young people requires a broad range of new ideas and new collaborations across sectors at the local, national, regional and global levels.
In advance of our 10th Annual Meeting, CGI has partnered with OpenIDEO to launch a global challenge on youth employment. Anyone can participate in the challenge, contribute their ideas, and help develop solutions to the question of “How might we build better employment opportunities and pathways for young people around the world?” We’ll invite a finalist to the Annual Meeting in September to turn their ideas into action alongside other CGI members – and we anticipate that many of the contributions will spark new conversations and partnerships.
Many CGI members have mobilized around this issue and have launched new Commitments to Action to support youth employment. Accenture’s commitment, Skills to Succeed, is equipping half a million young people with the skills they need for employability and entrepreneurship. The company has partnered with local organizations to help disabled people in India find work, employ veterans in the United States and support the transition of migrant youth into cities in China.
Another commitment by Global Citizen Year is empowering 1,000 American high school graduates annually with skills and apprenticeships in service projects during a bridge year before they enter college. Through the commitment, young people participate in programs across Asia, Africa and Latin America, learning new skills related to global development and social innovation, including leadership, language and cultural training. The initiative equips emerging leaders with real-life work experience to better prepare them for continued education and future careers.
These are just two of the many ideas CGI commitment-makers have turned into action. But an issue so grand requires a constant search for solutions, which is why we’ve launched the Youth Employment challenge.
We are excited to see the range of ideas submitted through OpenIDEO’s open innovation platform. Some ideas might focus on local solutions, like peer-to-peer mentoring or education programs at a neighborhood high school. Others might include broader approaches that require support from large organizations or changes in public policy. Some solutions might present entirely new models, while others might focus on scaling proven solutions that have worked in the past.
We hope you’ll participate in the challenge, engage your peers in the effort, and share your ideas and solutions to address this critical issue.