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World Youth Skills Day

World Youth Skills Day

Posted: 13 Jul 2020

The United Nations World Youth Skills Day takes place on 15 July 2020. This year is proving to be extremely challenging for our young people who have faced a great deal of disruption and change in their education process due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There has also been an increase in global unemployment of young people. This is great cause for concern as, even prior to the pandemic, young people were three times more likely to be unemployed than adults and were already facing long periods of time transitioning between school and employment. 


Young people need knowledge, skills and resilience to guide the recovery of our troubled planet, yet, presently, 70% of learners are affected by school closures.  

Online distance learning has clear advantages such as the freedom to stay home and safe, avoiding logistical issues to do with transport, flexibility and self-determined scheduling, wide networking opportunities and access to current expertise. Especially promising is the use of mobile phones and related applications that are supporting education.  

The shift to distance training as the most common way of imparting skills is, however, fraught with challenges. Curricula need to be adapted, teachers and pupils need training and preparation, online connectivity is essential, data costs need to be affordable and assessment and certification processes have to be revised. In South Africa, a big obstacle is access to digital technology for those who already come from disadvantaged backgrounds. Teachers have varying digital skills and many families cannot afford the data needed to participate effectively. The government needs to focus on developing policies and strategies to provide connectivity, data, access to hardware, development of technical and digital skills and provision of online, multilingual learning content. 

On a global level, Technical Education and Vocational Training (TVET) are central to the UN’s 2030 agenda and Sustainable Goal 4 which is “to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”  This will help young people gain skills that are relevant and certified, find work and become productive agents in society.  

In South Africa there are fifty registered, accredited and subsidised public TVET colleges operating in over 350 campuses throughout rural and urban areas, offering internationally benchmarked qualifications. Encouragingly, the number of learners enrolled is increasing and the targeted number of TVET students for 2020 is over 1 200 000. Bursaries are available and e-learning is provided for many of the courses. The purpose of these colleges is to provide education and training to students in important, marketable and practical skills that allow them to qualify for a multitude of jobs, as an alternative to university studies. Many of the campuses have Open Learning Centres and Internet Cafés for students to access. 


E-Classroom is excited to be at the forefront of high quality, affordable digital learning content. You can look up all our resources at https://e-classroom.co.za/.



Further information 

Various resources on further education and skills development in South Africa as well as information on training available and special offers:

A list of online certificates from public TVET colleges is available at

More information about public TVET colleges can be found at

More information about World Youth Skills Day 



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