World Youth Skills Day: Addressing the Challenges of Youth & Employment


The following post is by Chew Rong Kang, previously an intern with Microsoft Singapore’s Developer Experience and Evangelism team and a graduate from Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore.

To generate greater awareness of and discussion on the importance of technical, vocational education and training, and the development of other skills relevant to both local and global economies, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution, spearheaded by Sri Lanka, declaring 15 July as World Youth Skills Day. The goal is to achieve better socio-economic conditions for today’s youth as a means of addressing the challenges of unemployment and under employment.

How are young people around the world celebrating this day? One way is for youth from more than 50 countries and regions in the Americas, Europe, Asia, South Pacific and Africa to gather in Sao Paulo for the 43rd WorldSkills Competition in August, where competitors will simulate real work challenges that must be completed to international standards of quality. This is the largest professional education event in the world, and is held every two years. From bricklaying to floristry to mobile robotics, contestants pit their skills against one another individually or in teams to clinch the highest honour of a Gold Medal. Watch this video to get a snapshot of this competition.

 

I was fortunate to be selected to represent Singapore as a competitor in the IT Software Solutions for Business category. Competitors of this category will be tasked with developing a business software solution that addresses problems faced by businesses in a given case scenario.

To compete in the competition, I had to intensely build up my skills in Coding and Software Development. I find that having these skills, together with knowledge from school, have helped me in being better at solving real-world challenges and projects. It is empowering to have good skills to tackle problems that come my way. I also love to share my skills to help others when they run into programming problems.

For those who have a passion in technology like me, a piece of advice would be to start learning more now and level up your skills! If you do not know where to start, fret not as Microsoft YouthSpark will provide you with the necessary resources to kick start the development of your technical skills. Head down to the YouthSpark Hub to check out many free programs which are just a click away. My favourite thing in the YouthSpark Hub would be TouchDevelop, it’s a really fun way to learn programming and build little games that you can share with friends. 

I’m so excited to head to São Paolo with my fellow competitors from Singapore! What will you do to improve your skills in 2015?

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