Reimagining Education: Preparing the Next Generation with Skills for the Future

Generation Unlimited, the Global Business Coalition for Education and UNICEF convened business leaders to discuss new partnerships, innovative solutions, and new investments for young people

Generation Unlimited
Saddam Sayyaleh, Founder, I Learn Jordan Initiative and Generation Unlimited Global Board member (right) — flanked by Javita Nauth, Global Youth Ambassador, Theirworld; and Robert Benes, Director, Generation Unlimited
UNICEF | Chalasani

26 September 2019

The largest generation of young people in history are lacking the skills and opportunities required for the changing future of work. On current trends, by 2030, more than half of all young people will not be prepared for the skills needed for the future of work and according to a recent youth survey by Deloitte and the Global Business Coalition for Education, 39% of youth claim school does not provide the skills needed for work.

In light of these challenges, Generation Unlimited and the Global Business Coalition for Education teamed up to host an event during the 74th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Reimagining Education: Preparing the Next Generation with Skills for the Future. This event brought together a group of 150 diverse, high-level global leaders from the business community, government, UN and civil society – alongside young people – to secure new partnerships, innovative solutions, and new investments.

Sarah Brown, Chair, Theirworld, and Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition
UNICEF

"The private sector piece is key, we cannot do this with just the public sector and governments."

Sarah Brown, Chair, Theirworld, and Executive Chair of the Global Business Coalition
Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations
UNICEF | Chalasani

"A re-imagined education is an equitable education because education should not reinforce inequality."

Amina J. Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General, United Nations
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, Co-Chair, GenU gives the opening remarks during "Reimagining Education: Preparing the Next Generation with Skills for the Future
UNICEF | Chalasani

“Join us in this very important cause, in this important movement for young people. Invest in bold, bankable, and breakthrough ideas.”

Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF Executive Director

At the event, SAP and UNICEF announced a new global partnership as part of their GenU commitment, to provide quality education, life skills and job skills training to young people in disadvantaged communities, preparing them for decent work and active citizenship.

The three-year partnership will bring together businesses, governments and non-governmental organizations to build sustainable education models. The partnership will focus on workforce inclusion initiatives to help young people thrive, and provide organisations with a prepared workforce.

With more than 1 in 5 young people today are neither in employment, education or training, and many more not learning the skills they need to seek decent employment, as today’s rapidly changing economy demands increasingly specialized skills, the partnership will also look to develop a standardized national curriculum, workforce readiness programmes, and in-depth research to better inform and connect the private sector with future talent.

Nick Tzitzon, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Communications, SAP
UNICEF | Chalasani

"This is where we want to invest to support the Sustainable Development Goals. We are excited about the future."

Nick Tzitzon, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Communications, SAP
UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore, Co-Chair, Generation Unlimited (left), and Nick Tzitzon, Head of the SAP Foundation,
UNICEF | Chalasani

"We are excited to work with SAP to harness young people’s energy and ideas, and help them contribute to their economies and societies.”

Henrietta H. Fore, UNICEF Executive Director

By 2030, companies and communities throughout the world need to be ready to sustainably integrate 2 billion young people seeking employment into the workforce.

The collaboration will help reach young people across Africa, Asia and Europe, with initial efforts focused on India, Turkey and Viet Nam. It forms part of Generation Unlimited, the global partnership working to prepare young people to become engaged and productive citizens. Launched one year ago, Generation Unlimited convenes multisector public and private investment in education and employment of youth, while engaging young people in these efforts.

Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever
UNICEF | Chalasani

"The future of work is here already. Work today requires all of us to be in a mood of continuous learning."

Alan Jope, CEO, Unilever
Saddam Sayyaleh, Founder, I Learn Jordan Initiative and Generation Unlimited Global Board member
UNICEF | Chalasani

"Young people are capable of changing business ecosystem. We are seeing a rise in MENA of young people bringing education solutions and innovations."

Saddam Sayyaleh, Founder, I Learn Jordan Initiative and Generation Unlimited Global Board member

Unfulfilled potential, unemployment, frustration, exclusion, and alienation due to low quality and irrelevant education, as well as misalignment of skills and jobs, pose serious and formidable challenges to the next generation entering the workforce. Immediate and transformative action is needed to mitigate the risks posed by this challenge. The event had the honour to host Gordon Brown, UN Envoy for Education, that called for collective action to address the global education crisis. Gordon Brown’s words summarized well the spirit of this event, and inspired action and provided a pathway forward for reimagining education and training, with an emphasis on skills for the future and innovative methods to match graduates with relevant and meaningful jobs.

Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education and former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, gives closing remarks during "Reimagining Education: Preparing the Next Generation with Skills for the Future",
UNICEF | Chalasani

"We need to work together to deal urgently with what is not just a climate emergency but an education and skills emergency. We can bridge the gap between what young people are and what they can become."

Gordon Brown, UN Special Envoy for Global Education