Transitioning to adulthood is always an exciting process but for many young people, the uncertainty of independence makes the journey challenging. The increasing unemployability in the job market especially for fresh graduates seems to be the major obstacle.
Young people in Asia region alone are three to six times more likely than adults to be unemployed and with the global crisis, youth unemployment increased in eight out of nine Asian economies reviewed between the end of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020 (Asian Development Bank, 2020). Similarly, data presented by the ADB report 2020 also suggests that many youths who normally enter the job sectors are now at the risk of disruption due to the crisis. For example, in Indonesia, 20% of young people’s new jobs are traditionally in manufacturing and 43% in market (i.e. non-government) services, both of which have been hit by the pandemic.
The existence of non-linear school-to-work transition is merely aggravated due to pandemic. The issue with smooth school-to-work transition among young people has always been an ever pertinent issue, especially in Asian communities where education inequality largely exists. In Asia, for example, the Indian government has acknowledged the challenges of developing quality and relevant vocational education at the upper-secondary level that adequately alerts and prepares students to meet the requirements of the world of work (GoI 2020). In Nepal, the education system also has been unable to impart the required skills for a successful integration into the labour market (Brown Et. Al, 2017). This suggests that the school-to-work transition model in the education system still consists of loopholes restricting a young person to actively search for work based on their skills and aspirations.
Young people are struggling with outdated educational resources because it does not provide them with the necessary opportunities to develop their skills, expand their knowledge, and cope with technological advancement (By Us for Us report; Restless Development, 2021). Most educational resources are not equipped with the 21st century skills that support young people to find job opportunities. The research report published by Restless Development on “By Us For Us on youth aspirations 2021” states that 34% of young people globally need greater access to leadership and personal development opportunities for future employment opportunities. Evidently in Nepal, the opportunity to engage in alternative ways of learning, such as CTEVT programs for future work opportunities are limited, or in some cases, absent (A. Paudel, 2019).
The difficult school-to-work transition has a long term scarring effect on young people. Most of them become compelled to work out of their aspirations they hold for life and opportunities inviting unsatisfactory workforce in the country. Therefore, there is a desperate need to prioritize school-to-work transition in the education system.
Project AKAJ invites young changemakers from Nepal to participate in 3 days of training on leadership and career development followed by a three months of traineeship period with their desired host organizations/companies.
If you are interested, stay tuned on our facebook page for next phase application call out.