- Globally, seventy-five million youth are unemployed and young people are three times more likely than their parents to be out of work.
- Half of youth are not sure that their postsecondary education has improved their chances of finding a job
- Only 43 percent of employers can find enough skilled entry-level workers and estimates suggest that by 2020 there will be a global shortfall of 85 million high- and middle-skilled workers
Around the world, governments and businesses face a conundrum: high levels of youth unemployment and a shortage of job seekers with critical skills. How can a country successfully move its young people from education to employment? What are the challenges? Which interventions work? How can these be scaled up? These are the crucial questions.
A new report from McKinsey attempts to answer them. To do so, it developed two unique fact bases. The first is an analysis of more than 100 education-to-employment initiatives from 25 countries, selected on the basis of their innovation and effectiveness. The second is a survey of youth, education providers, and employers in nine countries that are diverse in geography and socioeconomic context: Brazil, Germany, India, Mexico, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
The report’s findings include the following six highlights:
- Employers, education providers, and youth live in parallel universes – or to put it another way, they have fundamentally different understandings of the same situation.
- The education-to-employment journey is fraught with obstacles - not least of which are cost, work relevancy and job access.
- The education-to-employment system fails for most employers and young people – positive outcomes are the exception rather than the rule.
- Innovative and effective programs around the world have important elements in common – most particularly when education providers and employers step into each others’ worlds.
- Creating a successful education-to-employment system requires new incentives and structures – distributed information, collaborative endeavor and systems integration.
- Education-to-employment solutions need to scale up – leveraging interactive technologies and employer-valuable curricula.
McKinsey started this research recognizing the twin crises of a shortage of jobs and a shortage of skills. In the course of it, though, it realized the need to take into account another key shortage: the lack of hard data. This deficiency makes it difficult to even begin to understand which skills are required for employment, what practices are the most promising in training youth to become productive citizens and employees, and how to identify the programs that do this best.
The authors conclude, “The journey from education to employment is a complicated one, and it is natural that there will be different routes. But too many young people are getting lost along the way”.
Source: McKinsey Center for Government