Nepal observes World Youth Skills Day 2021

Youth have the creativity, potential, and capacity to make change happen—for themselves, their communities, and for the rest of the world. World Youth Skills Day, observed annually on 15 July, focuses on the strategic importance of equipping young people with the skills for employment, decent work, and entrepreneurship.

For the occasion, UNESCO collaborated with Youth Advocacy Nepal, Nepal Youth Council, Restless Development Nepal, Raleigh International Nepal and Global Peace Foundation to organize a virtual National Youth Skills Summit on 15 and 16 July 2021. The two-day event, which took place in a challenging context, with the continuation of the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in the widespread disruption of the Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) sector, focused on reimagining youth skills in a post-pandemic world.

In his opening remarks, Chief Guest Madhav Prasad Dhungel, Vice President of Nepal Youth Council, underscored the need of interlinking training and entrepreneurship for the all-round development of youth.

Sharing that the UN General Assembly in 2014 adopted a global strategy to equip young people with skills, Dr. Balaram Timalsina from UNESCO highlighted that the Government of Nepal should develop policies and programmes to equip young people with a set of skills for decent work, employment, and entrepreneurship in their home country. “Decent work is determined by four components: the feeling of an individual towards the work, family attitude, a future career, and financial gain from the work,” he mentioned.

UNICEF, UNESCO and WHO list ten core life skills, strategies, and techniques: self-awareness, critical thinking, creative thinking, problem-solving, effective communication, interpersonal relationships, empathy, coping with stress, coping with emotions, and decision making. Presenting a paper on lifelong learning for youth, Bimal Kumar Phuyal from Nepal National Commission for UNESCO urged young people to become lifelong learners for transformative actions in society.

Naren Khatiwada, President of Youth Advocacy Nepal, noted that the budget allocated for technical and vocational skills should be increased.

During the two-day event, which stressed the relevancy of skills for employment and entrepreneurship, 150 participants across the country, representing all of the seven provinces, shared their experiences, knowledge, and perspectives with respect to skills in Nepal.