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Bleak job prospects for young workers may only increase if actions are not taken, experts say.
Those experts, speaking at the World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting, offered a dangerous picture of the potential for a lost generation of young workers if changes, including better training and development programs, aren't made.
"Young people are losing hope of finding jobs, and many have stopped searching for work altogether. They are fast becoming a generation that sees no path to success," said Jonas Prising, president of the ManpowerGroup and a Junior Achievement USA board member.
"Opportunities can be created for youth by providing the required tools and training to ensure they acquire the skills and expertise needed. There are examples of initiatives that have shown promise, but the sheer scale of the issue requires a dedicated and focused effort to succeed."
Overall, the International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that the global youth unemployment rate could reach 12.7 percent by the end of 2017 if targeted actions are not taken. However, in many countries, the youth unemployment rate already exceeds that number. In particular, the Eurozone as a whole has a youth unemployment rate of 24.4 percent, while Greece alone has a youth unemployment rate of 57.6 percent.
The ILO reports that of the 202 million unemployed people around the globe, two in five are under the age of 24. In Europe alone, the ILO estimates that 14 million young people are currently unemployed.
Solving the problem will take a few steps, says the Manpower Group, a partner to the WEF and human resources consutancy. In particular, leaders must promote entrepreneurship, help young people gain relevant skills, assist youth entry into the workforce and develop national strategies to scale career development programs.
Additionally, the Manpower Group recommends that employers and educators work to align skills learned in school with jobs that demand them. The Manpower Group also recommends improving career guidance and training resources in schools, while also boosting support for technology platforms that can deliver information and services to young job seekers.