A few years ago, studies conducted by the International Labor Organization established that of the 620 million young people between 15 and 24 years old worldwide, 81 million were unemployed; On the other hand, companies complain about a shortage of talent; that is, they find it difficult to get the worker they need and that fits the profile.
This situation is getting worse and worse, forcing governments to take measures that promote the hiring of young people. A concrete example is the case of the First Employment Law in Colombia, promoted by Labor Minister Rafael Pardo, which has proven to be an excellent tool to reduce unemployment levels and improve working conditions for Colombians.
I believe that one of the main problems is that young people choose traditional careers, which present an oversupply, making the market for these professionals very competitive and with very few opportunities. It is necessary that these young graduates focus on studying careers with greater demand in the labor market whether professionals, technicians or technologists, responding to market needs and orienting themselves to global development trends.
In this way, they can be linked in positions with dignified and stable working conditions, and they will even have the opportunity of professional development.
What alternatives have young people found to be employed?
When not finding opportunities young professionals are forced to take alternatives that do not meet their expectations or for which they are overqualified or in fields other than those of their preparation; situation that they have to accept in order to start their career, acquire some experience, pay many times their study credits and achieve a basic income; situation that some companies use to reduce their labor costs.
In this way, they start their working life informally, as a means of sustenance, or go to entrepreneurship.
Through formal entrepreneurship, young people can turn their ideas into sustainable and profitable businesses and, at the same time, generate employment and welfare for society. In the CESA we understand the need to develop the skills required to be a successful entrepreneur and that is why since the founding of this business school 40 years ago, we have been training the best leaders in this country through a model based on three pillars: entrepreneurship, leadership and ethics.
What can young people do to improve their work situation? What could be a first step?
Young people have to be aware of the employment situation they face, know their market, the economy and above all, anticipate future employability needs. Quality education, by higher education institutions, is a fundamental pillar for the economic and social development of the country and is the main factor to achieve higher levels of competitiveness.
With this knowledge they must prepare themselves to face the challenge, choosing the right careers and with the greatest demand; but this is not enough, they have to become attractive to the market, that is to say complement their education with an integral formation, that allows them to develop in different areas, to face the changes within a global framework.
It is necessary for these young professionals to strengthen their knowledge in languages, technology, and work on the growth of their skills related to emotional intelligence. These factors must be accompanied by a great passion for what is done and a determination to fulfill your personal objectives.
Who is primarily responsible for providing adequate conditions for young people to have adequate employment?
Governments should facilitate and promote in companies the hiring of young people in their organizations, by means of measures that make these processes attractive, either in terms of cost reduction and flexibility of working conditions.
On the other hand, the State must ensure to promote education oriented to labor needs and allocate resources for improvement.
The Institutions of Higher Education have a huge responsibility. We must train the new human talent in order to understand, appropriate and apply relevant knowledge.
Likewise, we must lead the development of skills, aptitudes and skills coherent with the conditions of economic and social development and the realities of the international market.
Should young people consider studying a career to match their interests or one that responds to the developing industry and labor supply in the country?
Young people must study careers according to their interests and competencies, because only in this way is a personal fulfillment guaranteed and a passion is developed in what is done.
The ideal would be to guide this passion to activities that respond opportunely to the needs of the labor market in the environment.
What do you think are the careers of the future?
I believe that many of the traditional careers will continue to be very relevant, as is the case of business administration, since future professionals will have the need to have the necessary skills to manage the organizations; In this sense, it is very important that the training has a very high practical component, developing entrepreneurship skills and leadership of young people, so that they can add value to their organizations and efficiently face the challenges of a globalized world.