World Youth Skills Day

Posted: 14th Jul 2017

World Youth Skills Day

This Saturday is World Youth Skills Day and here at Centric we have been talking to some of the charities that we work with in this area.

Across the world, Young People are almost three times more likely to be unemployed than adults. In total, the youth – which the UN defines as 15-24 year olds, comprise about 25% of the total global working age population, but make up 40% of the global unemployed (Food & Agriculture Organisation). The problem is global, with half of the world’s youth population, about 621 million people, not in school, employment, or training. Whilst the problem is most profound in developing countries, the problem is also felt here in the UK with over 564,000 young people unemployed in April 2017 (UK Parliament).

To begin to tackle this, a UN resolution to to establish a world youth skills day was added to their assembly on December 18th, 2014 and has run every year in July since. This years theme is “Skills to Improve Youth Civic Engagement”, aimed to explore and remedy the reasons why young people struggle to participate in economic, political, and community environments. Recently, some of the team from Centric made a visit to one of our hubs in Coventry to talk about some of the work that the organisations that we are working with are doing in this area.


Vanny Radio

“At Vanny Radio, we offer lots of different training to young people around Coventry. Whether it is training to be radio presenters, sound or light engineers, graphic designers, or just general skills like reading and writing, we do it here at Vanny Radio.

We put the steering wheel back into the hands of the young people who come into our office. Often, they know better than anyone else what is right for them and we give them the space to achieve it. When we work with young people, we don’t force them to stick to a pattern or a mould and we let them be themselves and, in creative industries like the ones we work in, this is what allows them to succeed and flourish.

For some of the young people working with Vanny Radio, this is their first chance anyone has given them at working in professional environments. Often, they are children from disadvantaged or difficult backgrounds who haven’t been given their fair shot at life. We find that, just by putting faith in the amazing people we work with, they are able to step up to the plate and deliver some great results. Through these experiences, these young people begin to realise that they do have the skills and ability, or at least the ability to work towards them, and achieve their goals.

From this, we have sent young people on from their time with Vanny Radio into full time employment, working as backing DJ’s for big artists or in popular clubs, as sound engineers for big, national radios, or into a field unrelated to radio that – through their exposure to the professional world – these young people have found the confidence to apply for and have a go at.”


Coventry Somali Community Network

“At the Coventry Somali Community Network, we work with a lot of young people who are struggling to find work, those applying for work for the first time, or young people wanting to attend University. We offer a package of services to these young people, that may include helping them search for a job that matches their skill-set, preparation for an upcoming interview, or giving them free consultation and advice on applying for Further Education after they have finished compulsory education.

The service that we give allows young people to take their first steps into what we hope will be a successful career. We also work with young people from particularly disadvantaged backgrounds may have been youth-offenders in their past. By giving them workplace training and helping to propel them into rewarding jobs and careers, we have – in the past – been able to stop these young people from reoffending and allowed them to achieve a much higher quality of life.

Often, these young people just need a hand up to start climbing the ladder, and this is the service that we try to provide.”


The Highlife Centre

“At the Highlife Centre, helping people gain new skills and work experience is at the heart of what we do.

We offer young people the vital experience they need to break into a jobs market that is only growing more and more competitive. We provide structured work experience within our own organisation that can last for up to 16 weeks. In these roles, the young people that we work with have the opportunity to gain skills in administration, bookkeeping, graphic design, marketing and advertising, web design, and project management. They are assigned a business mentor from our own team of staff to work alongside them throughout their rotation and share with them the skills they have gained from their time in the business world. We find that even in this brief time, by giving these young people real responsibilities and tasked they feel able to go on and put themselves out there in the world of work.

Alongside this, we offer a number of other workshops, events, and activities (not only to young people, but to anyone interested). These workshops tackle a number of issues, including confidence building, time-keeping, and motivational workshops. This falls into form a part of our larger community aims and our beneficiaries tell us that our programmes have given them new skills and experiences, increased their knowledge and access to knowledge, made them feel socially connected, and overall given them the strength and ability to overcome significant barriers to employment and find enriching, fulfilling work.

This allows people to take the first step towards a chosen career path in a sector of their chosen sector.”

If you want to hear more about World Youth Skills Day, head over to their social media channels:

Facebook / Twitter / Website

Thank you Centric, landlords, and everyone who’s played a part in establishing this fantastic community resource in Brighton. You’ve made a crucial difference to the development of our charity and the health and well-being of a large number of people in need

Gary Pargeter
Project Manager Lunch Positive