'Opportunity for Action' by Microsoft and IYF Focuses on Barriers to Opportunity for Global Youth

A Microsoft commissioned report out today dubbed "Opportunity for Action" from the International Youth Foundation, outlines actions to better prepare the 1.2 billion global youth entering the 21st century workforce. The report shows that while some youths are succeeding, millions of others are not because they don't have access to the necessary education, skills and […]

A Microsoft commissioned report out today dubbed "Opportunity for Action" from the International Youth Foundation, outlines actions to better prepare the 1.2 billion global youth entering the 21st century workforce. The report shows that while some youths are succeeding, millions of others are not because they don't have access to the necessary education, skills and opportunities.

Being released at a town hall discussion, "Jobs and Economy of the Future: Educating the Next Generation to Compete," hosted by The Atlantic, the report is a call to action to address the challenges limiting the potential of today's youths. It encourages public and private sectors to work together to better prepare young people to lead productive lives and contribute to society.

"The report documents the nearly 75 million young people, globally, who are unemployed and the varying causes for rising youth unemployment in different parts of the world." The global unemployment rate for young people is currently 12.7% - more than double global average for unemployment as a whole.

The report shows, currently only "44% of youth worldwide pursue education as far as the equivalent of the high school level in the US, and even fewer complete secondary education. This is especially concerning given the increase in jobs globally requiring higher levels of skill and education. In the US, for example, it's estimated that by 2018, 62% of the workforce will require some college education, yet today 16% of American youth ages 18-24 fail even to complete high school," Microsoft blogged.

Here is an infographic of the IYF's Opportunity for Youth report:

A visual interpretation of the International Youth Foundations Opportunity for Youth report commissioned by Microsoft.

In the video below, Microsoft talks with Bill Reese, president and CEO of the IYF. During the interview, Reese spoke about the role education plays in helping to improve the lives of youth all around the world as well as the Opportunity for Action report, which focuses on barriers to opportunity for global youth.

The full Opportunity for Action report can be found here (pdf).