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On October 20th a follow-up meeting to the International Youth Job Creation Summit was held in the House of Commons in London. The meeting heard from Jeremy Lefroy MP on the World Bank’s evolving position and from David Woollcombe on meetings with the ILO and the European Commission. Janne Geurts, the director of the Summit, provided an update on the progress that has been made post-Summit and outlined future plans.
The meeting then divided into two separate task forces that took the next steps on tackling youth unemployment across UK and International levels.
International Task Force
Discussions of how to shape the International youth job creation policy landscape centered around two broad areas of common agreement; the pressing needs for educational reform and improved access to start-up capital. While a broad consensus identified these themes as critical a number of different arguments were posited as to what future progress should look like.
Starting with educational reform – the broad strokes consensus was that the worlds of business and education needed to work in a more harmonious fashion. Suggestions of how to bring this to pass included;
incorporating entrepreneurship into education
embedding business skills within a modern curriculum
running schools as if they were businesses
In undertaking such reform it was cautioned against expecting every student to emerge as a future entrepreneur. It was argued that to sidestep this eventuality that a curriculum for life should be developed – one where the core principles of business would be ingrained in the educational system and supplement the teaching of “classic” subjects.
Access to Capital
Another recurring theme urged the easing of restrictions limiting access to start-up capital. On this topic suggestions included;
Replicating the UK’s Start-up Loans programme abroad
The wider replication of Dfid’s Bank Guarantee scheme
UK Task Force
Discussions centered on;
How to bridge the information gap that isolates service providers from youth
The pressing need for an education system that is fit for purpose
Identifying easy yet progressive steps that can be taken
In order to accelerate progress several proposals were made;
Involve more young people in the process
Draft an accessible one-page “policy-proposal” template
Draft a Mission, Vision and Values document
Identify areas where collaboration could take place
Gain political influence
The International Youth Job Creation Summit was an urgent response to the global crisis of youth unemployment. Hosted at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills on Friday 13th of September, this one-day event explored how job opportunities can be created for a billion young people entering the global workplace over the next decade. Organised by Peace Child International in partnership with Multiple Learning Solutions and in association with InspirEngage International, this Summit showcased innovative job creation initiatives around the world; shared best practice in delivering employability skills training and developed cost effective job policy measures.
The 165 delegates were made up of a global network, half of whom were young people, representing businesses, policy makers, employability skills providers, leaders from the education and public sector, academics, NGOs, young activists and journalists.
Keynote speaker, Andris Piebalgs, the European Commissioner for Development came especially from Brussels to address the Summit on the issue of youth unemployment in the EU and in developing countries. He saw that the answers lie in providing access to education, easing labour market regulations, private sector development and improvements to vocational and skills training and easier access to capital and mentorship for youth-led business start-ups. The Financial Times interviewed the Commissioner at the Summit on the subject of youth employment in the international post-2015 debate.
We were equally honoured to have Lord Young, David Cameron’s Enterprise Adviser as a keynote speaker who talked about the need to mentor young people on starting up a business, and about the government “Start-up Loans” scheme for young people to set up their own enterprise.
A huge thanks also to the other panellists, Melody Hossaini, Yannick Dupont, Ravi Theja Muthu, Andrew Fiddaman, Jeremy Lefroy, Nadia Elhaggagi, Larry Sullivan and TJ Morgan who provided inspirational answers to the Summit question, ‘How to create a billion job opportunities for young people over the next decade’.
Many thanks to those who ran the workshops on the day and to the youth media team whose interviews with Lord Young and Andris Piebalgs can be seen here;
A further big thanks to Matteo Bergamini and Anne-Marie Booth, whose respective articles provide an excellent summary of the Summit.
Policy into Action – two-day follow up event
There was a chance to refine the policies and outcomes from Friday’s Summit in a further two-day event, on 14th and 15th September. Through interactive workshops and collaborative thinking, a team of young and dynamic delegates helped to produce a road map to full employment guide. The outcomes ranged from root and branch reform of education to including entrepreneurship and skills training on the curriculum to forming a collaborative working alliance between stakeholders. A full list of the outcomes from the weekend will be available soon.
Many thanks to our sponsors for making this first Summit so successful