Digital Skills for Decent Jobs for Youth


Session 291

15:00–16:30, Wednesday, 14 June 2017 Popov Room, ITU Tower Captioning Interpretation: E/F/R/S/C/A High-Level Dialogue

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The digital economy is transforming the employment landscape across industries. To foster the building blocks of the digital economy and tap growth potential, an increasing number of countries are today seeking measures to strengthen digital skills among their citizens. Evidence shows that improvements in digital skills development can lead to innovation, higher productivity and competitiveness, expanding markets and therefore employment and entrepreneurship opportunities. Digital skills are particularly crucial to improve pathways for young women and men to access decent work.

Did you know that even in the face of the global youth employment crisis, employers around the world have openings for millions of well-paying jobs requiring high-level ICT skills, in areas like Internet of Things, big data, coding, mobile apps and web development? The challenge comes with the skills mismatch. Most young people today – even the so-called “digital natives” – do not possess job-relevant digital skills.

To make sure young people seize these opportunities, the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth seeks to incentivize governments, the private sector, academia, civil society and many more key stakeholders to (i) equip young people with relevant, transferable digital skills and (ii) foster the job creation needed to integrate youth in the labour markets while helping advance digital economies. Because, when youth have decent work, we all benefit, and our future is more prosperous!

This session will introduce the Global Initiative on Decent Jobs for Youth and its action to enhance youth employment in the digital economy, with direct connection to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. It will also serve as an opportunity to join forces and pledge support to scale up action and impact on youth employment through digital skills.


Co-moderated by: Susan Schorr, Head, Digital Inclusion Division, International Telecommunication Union and Susana Puerto Gonzalez, Senior Youth Employment Specialist, International Labour Organization


  • Ms. Azita Berar Awad, Director Employment Policy Department, International Labour Organization
  • Mr. Yushi Torigoe, Deuputy Director, ITU Telecommunication Union Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT)
  • H.E. Mr. Henry Mussa, Minister of Labour, Youth, Sports and Manpower Development, Malawi
  • H.E. Mr. Cirilo Guillermo Sosa Flores, Ministro de Trabajo Empleo y Seguridad Social, República del Paraguay
  • Mrs. Vunnaporn Devahastin, Secretary-General, National Digital Economy and Society Commission, Thailand
  • Mr. Anir Chowdhury, Policy Advisor and Program Manager, a2i Program, Bangladesh
  • Mr. William Hudson, Senior Advisor for International Policy, Google, Inc.
  • Mr. João Magalhães, Co-founder and CEO of Code For All, Portugal

Session's link to WSIS Action Lines

  • AL C4 logo C4. Capacity building
  • AL C7 e-Gov logo C7. ICT Applications: E-government

Session's link to Sustainable Development Process

  • Goal 4: Quality education logo Goal 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
  • Goal 5: Gender equality logo Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls
  • Goal 8: Decent work and economic growth logo Goal 8: Promote inclusive and sustainable economic growth, employment and decent work for all