Manpower Inc. Calls for Action Over High Levels of Youth Unemployment and Underemployment Worldwide
Manpower Inc. Calls for Action Over High Levels of Youth Unemployment and Underemployment Worldwide Targeted Training Programs, Encouraging Entrepreneurship and Enticing Young People into Skilled Trades the Answer, Says Global Innovative Workforce Solutions Provider
Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN), world leader in innovative workforce solutions, has warned that the growing problems of youth unemployment and underemployment must be tackled urgently with targeted training programs and initiatives for young people to play a pivotal role in the global workforce.
The number of 16 to 24-year-olds out of work continues to rise and in the United Kingdom, for example, government figures show one in five young people is jobless, the highest proportion since records began. Even in countries such as Germany, where the economy has been robust, a skills mismatch is slowing down the recovery, partly due to the lack of workforce entrants with the right skills needed by employers.
"Young people require the sense of purpose that meaningful work provides and companies need the right talent to meet their business objectives," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Manpower Inc. Chairman and CEO. "In order to reconcile the two, a radical approach is necessary. Entrepreneurship must be incentivized and young people need to be given the tools and taught the skills they need to make themselves more appealing to potential employers."
Manpower has assisted the city of Shanghai, China, in assessing the best and brightest young people in the region and helped those who stood out to set up their own businesses. In February 2010, Joerres testified before a hearing of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee focusing on the labor market and policies to foster economic growth and job creation. Joerres recommended that a comprehensive program be developed to support entrepreneurs to set up and establish new businesses. Each successful new business will spur job creation, so investment should be made so more young entrepreneurs can start their own businesses and grow them.
Around the world, Manpower is involved in numerous job training and corporate social responsibility programs aimed at improving the employability of young people, particularly in emerging economies where the youth population bulge presents a pressing employment challenge. David Arkless, Manpower President of Corporate and Government Affairs, frequently participates in high-profile events that explore solutions to youth unemployment and underemployment, as Manpower advocates learning "on the job" to better align the needs of the business world with the skills possessed by workforce entrants.
Skilled trades regularly top Manpower's annual list of the Hardest Jobs to Fill, yet even with unemployment high, these vocations are poorly regarded compared to liberal arts and other university degrees. Skilled trades offer potentially lucrative alternative careers to traditional university degrees, yet are faced with the perception that they are less honorable. A societal mindshift must be created by employers, trade groups and educators working together to bring honor back to skilled trades.
"Society does not view working in skilled trades as honorable as a university education and that needs to change," added Joerres. "The stakeholders who rely on skilled workers must find ways to emphasize the appeal of the work, take steps to reach students early in their education and impress on older students and parents the value of pursuing these vocations."
As older workers continue to exit the workforce taking valuable skills and experience with them, the need to fully engage young workers grows ever more critical to ease worsening skills matches and tackle the economic and social problems associated with youth unemployment.
Manpower Inc. is proud to be a strategic partner of the World Economic Forum 2011 Annual Meeting. Jeff Joerres, Manpower Inc. Chairman and CEO David Arkless, Manpower Inc. President of Corporate and Government Affairs Franoise Gri, Manpower Inc. President of Southern Europe and Jonas Prising, Manpower Inc. President of the Americas, are all participating in high-profile panels at this year's annual forum. Manpower partners with WEF on several initiatives, and in 2010, Joerres co-chaired the World Economic Forum on Europe meeting, Arkless is Chair of the Global Agenda Council on Skills & Talent Mobility.