According to the YouthSpeak Report, created from a global insight survey powered by AIESEC, the vast majority of young millennials spend between 1 to 6 hours on skill development weekly.
The issues raised by this are very pertinent to today’s world, as education as we know it is at a disruption point as the system has not been able to bridge the skill gap left from graduation to employment for a while.
The good news is, we are also living in a world where education doesn’t need to be limited to a classroom. In fact, 70% of our Youth Speak Survey respondents stated that experiential learning is their most preferred method to develop new skills.
So a key insight we got from our data, diverging from a lot of millennial generation conceptions we have heard of (summarized by Simon Sinek on this Inside Quest episode), is not that millennials are too uninterested, too lazy or too paradoxical to gain knowledge.
It’s just that the theoretical method of learning is no longer effective to engage our youth into learning. Hence, that is not what we should be investing the majority of our efforts on. The bottomline is: if this very small shift of mindset happens, and experiential learning opportunities start being provided to more and more young people, then more and more of them will start to invest much more time into skill development.
We’d be creating better and more employable professionals and leaders.
AIESEC has this exact purpose. They have been providing experiential development to young people for the past 69 years through their exchange experiences. Moreover, they’ve been engaging and partnering with like-minded organizations in all sectors that provide these experiences to their employees and exchange participants that come work for them.
They believe in this 70-20-10 model, wherein a young person spends 70% of their time developing skills by experience and practice, 20% by learning from their social peers such as mentors and managers, and the last 10% in classrooms and formal learning environments with set curriculums.
If all this while in the most diverse set of workplaces skill development has been a common issue, maybe we should just stop blaming who’s lacking skills and start looking into how skill development is being provided, and how compelling and engaging it is to those who need to learn.5