Youth and Work
As we move into the information age of the 21st century, developing and maintaining employability has become more crucial than ever before. Every individual must exercise greater initiative and responsibility for career planning. What is more, fostering individual employability at an early age has become a major challenge for business and society. This is especially true wherever serious obstacles hinder the process of helping young people enter the world of work and integrating them into changing job markets.
Our young people are the future personified Everyday life and the world of work are changing at breakneck speed, and all of us — regardless of age, stage of life, skills or work environment — are caught up in the whirlwind. Demographic change, technological development and globalization have altered the demands and structures of the workplace and quite often of our personal lives as well. Individual responsibility and self-initiative — the ability to organize our own lives — have become essential prerequisites for successful and meaningful career planning.
Young people, in particular, must rise to this challenge. They must learn to take responsibility early on for their education and training, their future careers and their own lives. To do this, they need a sound general education as along with adequate career training that conveys the skills and tools essential for on the job learning throughout the course of a lifetime.
Both families and the educational system must take responsibility for laying this groundwork and helping young people make the transition to the working world. But the consequences of demographic change mean that greater responsibility must also now be assumed by the business community and other economic actors: across the board, they must view human capital as an asset and an investment in the future while helping activate the potential young people have to offer, nurturing their talents and supporting those who are disadvantaged as they enter the workplace.