Today, we highlight the importance of transforming youth skills for the future of work.
Young people are disproportionately impacted by interlinked global crises, from climate change to conflicts to persistent poverty. The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated these fragilities. In 2020 alone, youth employment fell by 39 million. Today, 24 million young people remain at risk of not returning to school.
The pandemic also accelerated the transformation of the labour market, adding uncertainty and widening the digital divide. We must ensure the right of young people to effective and inclusive education, training, and lifelong learning. That requires ramping up youth skills development, while investing in Technical Vocational Education and Training, broadband connectivity, and digital skills.
That is why I will convene a Transforming Education Summit in September that will bring together world leaders, youth and other education actors. Young people are drivers of change and must be fully engaged in decisions affecting their future. Guided by the United Nations Youth 2030 strategy, I urge everyone to act for youth skills development as a priority, at the Summit and beyond.
Together, let us build a more just and thriving workforce, rescue the Sustainable Development Goals and leave no one behind.
I wish you a happy World Youth Skills Day.