Generation Jobless: A Conference on Global Youth Unemployment
On October 24 and 25, 2014, International House and The GroundTruth Project, in association with the World Economic Forum, World Bank, JP Morgan Chase, Ford Foundation, MSNBC, and Univision, presented Generation Jobless: A Conference on Global Youth Unemployment.
The Millennial Generation has been called “Generation Jobless.” Nearly one quarter of the world’s young people – 290 million aged 15-24 — are in 21st century limbo: they are NEETs — not in Education, Employment, or Training. They struggle to navigate day-to-day practicalities: making a living, paying rent and affording tuition. Failure to find solutions breeds a “lost generation” with dreams deferred, mired in malaise, despair, and violence. Answers need to be found – now.
With more than 290 million young people worldwide lacking education, employment and training, International House hosted “Generation Jobless,” a two-day conference tackling the issue with leading thought leaders in labor, business, education and government as well as affected members of the Millennial Generation from around the world.
Co-sponsored by The GroundTruth Project, the conference examined coordinated, innovative and solutions to the issues of job creation and transformation from the global perspective, and offered a second day of workshops exclusively for young adults.
The topic was outlined by Trustee Fareed Zakaria, CNN host and author, who was introduced by Chairman Frank G. Wisner as a “truly great public thinker.” Zakaria commended I-House President Calvin Sims and GroundTruth founder Charles Sennott for convening a “serious, sustained conversation” on a vital topic.
Zakaria framed the issue by noting that for 20 years information technology revolutions and globalization have made it easier for jobs to be performed by machines or cheap labor in developing countries. Saying “we need to create an environment in which people can find meaningful employment,” he cited infrastructure-related construction and the hospitality industry as two sectors capable of sustainable job creation.
The ultimate solution will be from the bottom up, concluded Zakaria, who praised conference participants for generating ideas and wryly advised them, “don’t wait for Washington. You guys are going to solve the problem.”
The session “Barriers to Entry: Opening the Glass Door” moderated by Jamie McAuliffe of Education for Employment and the World Economic Forum brought together a panel which identified employment barriers both systemic and personal, the latter including race, gender, Millennial stereotyping, and a lack of education, skills and experience.