More young people than ever are not working. Globally 75 million 15-24 year olds are unemployed and hundreds of millions are under-employed (ILO, 2015).
In the UK, one third of young job seekers are unemployed for at least three months. For many, this has damaging long-term consequences on their career prospects, affecting mental health and increasing crime.
The problem facing young people around the world is that the structure of employment is changing fast. Jobs move quickly to where labour costs are lowest, or are made redundant by technology, and schools are struggling to prepare young people for an increasingly uncertain future. The need to be employable is the only constant.
Education and training are ‘key to tackling inequality and promoting social mobility’ (OECD, 2012), but formal qualifications are not enough to get and keep a job. A fresh approach to employability education and training is needed, starting with a good understanding of what helps young people succeed in work.