ManpowerGroup: Engage Unemployed Youth To Ease Skills Shortage

Engaging unemployed youth could help ease the skills shortage
Engaging unemployed youth could help ease the skills shortage.

ManpowerGroup, a World Economic Forum (WEF) strategic partner, is promoting coordinated action in four key to help solve a global skills shortage chronic levels of youth unemployment worldwide. Youth unemployment and skills training were high on the agenda at the recednt WEF Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

Global staffing firm ManpowerGroup is a $22 billion company with 3,600 offices in 80 countries serving 400,000 clients.

ManpowerGroup recommends targeted actions in:

  • creating jobs and promoting entrepreneurship;
  • helping young people acquire economically relevant skills; assisting youth’s workforce entry;
  • eveloping national strategies to scale career development programs.
Bridging The Job Skills Shortage Gap
Bridging The Job Skills Shortage Gap

The International Labor Organization projects a global youth unemployment rate of 12.7% by 2017.

In the Eurozone, the youth unemployment rate currently stands at 24.4%, up from 15% in March 2008.

In Greece, 57.6% of young people are out of work.

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetary Fund, said in her opening remarks in Davos on Jan. 23, 2013, that of the 202 million people the ILO reports are unemployed, two out of five are under the age of 24.

Many Unemployed Youth Given Up Looking For Jobs

“Young people are losing hope of finding jobs, and many have stopped searching for work altogether,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president. “They are fast becoming a generation that sees no path to success.”

Prising participated in the WEF session, “Preventing a Lost Generation,” exploring how Europe’s leaders can engage 14 million unemployed young people in the workforce. “Opportunities can be created for youth by providing the required tools and training to ensure they acquire the skills and expertise needed,” Prising said. “There are examples of initiatives that have shown promise, but the sheer scale of the issue requires a dedicated and focused effort to succeed.”

Young people need current technology skills.
Young people need current technology skills.

ManpowerGroup recently released two reports, “How Policy Makers Can Boost Youth Employment” and “Wanted: Energized, Career-Driven Youth.”

Both reports recommend strategies to prevent an entire generation from being excluded from the labor market, at a time when ManpowerGroup’s research found that more than one-third of employers globally are having difficulty filling open positions.

Both reports can be downloaded from:
Klaus Schwab, World Economic Forum founder and executive chairman, wrote a blog on the subject of Europe’s youth unemployment problem for The Huffington Post based on his new book, The Re-emergence of Europe, citing a report produced jointly by WEF and ManpowerGroup.

The report, titled “Youth Unemployment Challenges and Solutions”, identified solutions to youth unemployment. The blog can be viewed at:

Recommendations To Ease Skills Shortage

ManpowerGroup’s recommendations to better align skills supply and demand in the labor market include convening employers and educators to create a shared, pragmatic language of skills specifications that is job-relevant and can help coordinate training resources, improve career guidance resources for young people at all stages of the education process, improve access to training that is clearly linked to employment outcomes, and support youth-friendly technology platforms, such as mobile devices to deliver information and services.

In addition, adopting contingent work models through private employment services plays an important part in matching labor supply and demand by increasing opportunities for marginalized groups including youth to participate in the formal labor market and furnishing them with valuable employability skills.

Last year, Jeff Joerres, ManpowerGroup chairman and CEO, co-chaired the B20 Task Force on Employment, which culminated delivering recommendations for focused actions to inspire sustainable employment creation at the G20 Summit in Mexico.

These recommendations included improving collaboration between business and educational institutions, and scaling internships and apprenticeships.

In January 2011, at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland, ManpowerGroup announced the world has entered the Human Age, where talent has replaced capital as the key competitive differentiator.

This concept of talentism as the new capitalism continues to resonate and was echoed as a core theme of the 2012 Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos. Learn more at

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