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Advancing Youth Employment Is A Global Challenge

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Patrick Hynes is Clinton Global Initiative's Deputy Director of Member Relations. He formerly led the CGI track on Education & Workforce Development.

With nearly 75 million young people out of school and out of work, addressing youth unemployment is a challenge that reaches every corner of the world. From companies to colleges, communities to countries, creating employment opportunities and pathways for young people requires a broad range of new ideas and new collaborations across sectors at the local, national, regional and global levels.

Many Clinton Global Initiative members have mobilized around the issue and have launched new Commitments to Action to support youth employment. Accenture’s commitment, Skills to Succeed, is equipping half a million young people with the skills they need for employability and entrepreneurship. The company has partnered with local organizations to help disabled people in India find work, employ veterans in the United States and support the transition of migrant youth into cities in China. 

Another commitment by Global Citizen Year is empowering 1,000 American high school graduates annually with skills and apprenticeships in service projects during a bridge year before they enter college. Through the commitment, young people participate in programs across Asia, Africa and Latin America, learning new skills related to global development and social innovation, including leadership, language and cultural training. The initiative equips emerging leaders with real-life work experience to better prepare them for continued education and future careers.

These are just a two of the many ideas CGI commitment-makers have moved into action. But an issue so grand requires a constant search for solutions. That’s why we partnered with OpenIDEO to launch a global challenge on youth employment. Through our challenge, we’ll gather research, ideas and solutions from people of all backgrounds centered on the question of “How might we build better employment opportunities and pathways for young people around the world?”

Some of the ideas might focus on local solutions, like peer-to-peer mentoring or education programs at a neighborhood high school. Others might include broader approaches that require support from large organizations or changes in public policy. Some solutions might present entirely new models, while others might focus on scaling proven solutions that have worked in the past. 

We are excited to see the range of contributions made by the public through OpenIDEO’s open innovation platform. We anticipate that many of the contributions might spark new conversations and partnerships, and we’re looking forward to featuring one of the ideas at our 10th Annual Meeting this September. 

We hope you’ll participate in the challenge, engage your peers in the effort, and share your ideas, research and solutions throughout the Youth Employment Challenge. Now, head on over to the challenge and join us!

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