Covid-19 is leading to the emergence of a “lockdown generation”, as the crisis hits young people’s job prospects. According to the International Labour Organization (ILO), the pandemic is having a “devastating and disproportionate” impact on youth employment, while the most recent figures show that young people face major obstacles in continuing training and education, moving between jobs, and entering the labor market. Before the pandemic, EU youth unemployment (15-24) was 14.9%, down from its peak of 24.4% in 2013. In July
2020, it rose to 17%. The European Commission’s summer 2020 economic forecast predicts that the EU economy will shrink 8.3% in 2020, the deepest recession in the EU’s history.
Along with the tourism sector, cultural and creative sectors are among the most affected by the current crisis, with jobs at risk ranging from 0.8 to 5.5% of employment across OECD regions. Massive digitalization coupled with emerging technologies can create new forms of cultural experience, dissemination, and new business models with market potential. With the lockdown, many public and private providers moved content on-line for free to keep audiences engaged and satisfy the sharply increased demand for cultural content. While the provision of free and digitally mediated cultural content is not sustainable over time, it has opened the door to many future innovations. To capitalize on them, there is a need to address the digital skills shortages within the sector and improve digital access. Access to skilled digital workers is already a key factor for XXI century businesses. In an increasingly data-driven future – the European Commission believes there could be as many as 756,000 unfilled jobs in the European ICT sector by the end of 2020 – these numbers will exponentially grow due to the impact of the COVID19 pandemic.
In the middle of this crisis, young people, recognized as natural cultural actors and producers, can be observed as and opportunities for cultural and creative development through a coordinated investment in their creative and digital skills what will end up in a double positive effect: an increase of the youth employability rates through self-and own economic activation of young people and recuperation of a sector (cultural and creative) vital for the economic, social and mental wellbeing of our communities.
To successfully address all these new situations, challenges, risks, and opportunities required there is a need for coordinated action combining both grassroots initiatives and new policy responses.
This project understands that both, grassroots actions and actions at the policy-level are required. Under this light, and through a methodological process of definition that includes all different involved stakeholders, it will produce a set of policy recommendations focused on:
- How to foster youth employability by promoting incentives for businesses hiring unemployed young people for remote digital jobs.
- How to foster youth employability through different measures and benefits enhancing and facilitating youth self-employment.
Do you want to participate in this process? Write us to firstname.lastname@example.org and get on board!