Celebrating World Youth Skills Day, 15 July

World Youth Skills Day acknowledges and celebrates the importance of equipping young people with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship. It highlights the role that young skilled people have in addressing current and future global challenges.

For both developed and developing countries, rising youth unemployment is a significant issue with young men and women facing increasing uncertainty as they transition into the world of work.

Youth unemployment remains a key challenge in Zambia. The World Bank highlights that being underemployed or underemployed means young people are less able to contribute effectively to national development and have fewer opportunities to exercise their rights as citizens. They have less to spend as consumers, less to invest as savers and often have no ‘voice’ to bring about change in their lives and communities.

Build It is passionate about giving young people new opportunities. We have developed our Training into Work programme to provide high quality, entry-level skills training in construction.

We target unemployed and underemployed young people, and use the Progress out of Poverty Index®, which looks at a household’s characteristics and assets, to help identify those most in need of support. Many trainees have had little education, but have a keen interest and desire to learn new skills.

In 2019, 223 young people completed our Training into Work programme – a record year! It brings the total number trained to 1,029 young people.

Every trainee receives technical training, life skills development and invaluable work experience. They learn practical skills that will help them to earn a living and to provide for their families. Our annual impact studies continue to provide evidence that our skills training improves lives.

World Youth Skills Day this year takes place in a challenging and unprecedented context. With the theme “Skills for a resilient youth in the era of COVID-19 and beyond” the day highlights the need for young people to be equipped with the skills to successful manage evolving challenges and the resilience to adapt to future disruptions.

Now more than ever we must support young people with skills to be able to build, and rebuild, their lives.