Reimagining Youth Skills in a Rapidly Changing World: Advancing the agenda in South Asia
Rising to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, provide inspiration for others to take action and share lessons learned to respond to similar challenges in the present and future.
On behalf of Generation Unlimited, Global Business Coalition for Education and UNICEF Regional Office for South Asia, the Virtual Meeting on Reimagining Youth Skills in a Rapidly Changing World: Advancing the agenda in South Asia was held on Wednesday, 15 July 2020 in celebration of World Youth Skills Day on 15 July 2020.
This virtual event aimed to shed light on how different organisations and private sector companies in the South Asia region are rising to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, provide inspiration for others to take action and share lessons learned to respond to similar challenges in the present and future. This was highlighted through presentations by organizations including Microsoft, BRAC, iDreamCareer, UNDP and more. It also provided an opportunity for the co-organizing entities to share about their COVID-19 response, including Generation Unlimited.
This event built on the momentum and networks that was created by the South Asia Youth Skills and Solutions Forum that was held in Mumbai last October, which brought over 255 delegates representing civil society, the private sector, government, international agencies, and youth from eight South Asian countries to re-align, re-think, and re-imagine partnerships, policies and programmes to ensure every young person in South Asia has access to learning, training, employment or entrepreneurship by 2030.
The programme of the Virtual Meeting included a taking stock of the situation in the region, a showcase of responses addressing the crisis, and Q&A and discussion session in breakout rooms.
The event was a great success gathering 180 participants across South Asia and beyond. We had participants from wide range of organizations including Unilever, ILO, a2i, Save the Children, GiZ, Harvard university, among others. These presentations fed into fruitful discussions where participants were divided into thematic breakout rooms to discuss how to best work together to strengthen the case for accelerating youth skills development in South Asia.
The event provided a platform to exchange knowledge on how to adapt in times of COVID and offered an entry point for organizations to collaborate and leverage partnerships to synergize the efforts.
We are in a crucial time to respond to the urgent needs of youth whose learning and employment opportunities are being severely impacted by COVID-19. Now, more than ever, governments, the private sector, education and skills development institutions, CSOs must work together to fill in this gap and ensure that the progress made thus far is not lost.