According to the findings of the Youth Global Employability Report, employers are largely unsatisfied with the abilities of educators to prepare youth for global employment.
This finding is consistent with the answers to the question “What are the experiences that make candidates stand out in a recruitment process?”. University background and exam results are among the lowest of relevance when it comes to selection. On the other side, language ability, and international and local work experience are the top 3 preferred experiences among employers.
Throughout the years, we have seen educators around the world making efforts in integrating practical experiences with their curriculums. However, to satisfy the growing need of employers, these initiatives are seen either short term or too small in scale. The majority of youth are still hoping their university degrees will guarantee them employment, and this is hardly true. A resume without practical experience can hardly pass the initial screening. This puts youth under immense competition for the limited spots of the internships that employers can provide as well as in a big internal conflict of priorities of choosing between working towards a straight-A GPA or a full time curriculum juggling between internships.
Moreover, to better prepare youth for global employment, a focus on designing multilingual learning experiences should be brought to attention. Youth are no longer competing only with the talents in their local market. With employers eyeing on talents across the globe to fulfill their specific HR needs, language ability is the highest rated element in global recruitment. For educators this means a simple monolingual curriculum is no longer enough to equip their students with a competitive advantage. The world ought to be more connected. How can educators provide more opportunities for their students to look beyond language as just words, films, and cultural fantasies, but as a practical tool for broader job opportunities?
Employers also think that there are not enough opportunities available for youth to gain valuable skills and experiences to prepare for the global workforce. This is alarming because it shows that the majority of young people lacks awareness and opportunities to prepare themselves for the ever expanding global job market.
While employers are only targeting the best of the best students for their internship vacancies, it leaves the majority of students with an empty summer holiday. Though attempting to attain a few summer credits or fill the vacation with simple leisure time, students are also pressured by their peers setting the perfect record for employment.
AIESEC is actively mobilizing 40,000+ youth around the world providing practical experiences. Though the number of the SDG-focused voluntary based opportunities have almost 7 times more openings compared to the professional internships, we consistently see much more interest from young people to apply for professional internships. According to a 2016 customer interview initiative conducted in India and Mainland China covering more than 400 students, having a professional development experience is the highest rated value proposition of AIESEC’s products.
While we mobilize youth for professional development, we also noticed that in many developing countries and territories AIESEC is the only option for youth to foster their global competitiveness through volunteering and doing internships abroad. Youth are in definite need of more alternative solutions driven by educators, employers, governments and organizations to support their transition from education to employment.