Bridging the Opportunity Divide for Our Youth

A grand opportunity for public-private partnership exists to bridge the opportunity gap for our planet’s youth.

Opportunity for Action InfographicIn the United States, our unemployment rate has continued to decline for several months. As of this writing, the national unemployment figures are 8.3%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. This has been and is great news for our recovering economy.  In the midst of this positive economic development, a hidden challenge remains just beneath the surface–our youth are not working.

When you look at youth between ages 15-24; around the world the story is the same. Young people are experiencing double-digit unemployment numbers regardless of race, ethnic origin, or sex.  There is a clear mismatch between career-ready skills and the workforce opportunities. Moreover, there is a tremendous lack of awareness of the entrepreneurial opportunities that exist and are growing for young people in the digital economy. Closing the gap and building awareness are just the first steps.  More is needed.

The “Opportunity for Action” report, commissioned by Microsoft Corporation and presented by the  International Youth Foundation, highlights the gaps and steps we can all do together to move forward.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president of Legal & Corporate Affairs, participated in a recent digital town hall to discuss the International Youth Foundation report. See his highlights from the video below.

Video: Brad Smith Microsoft General Counsel Digital Town Hall on Jobs & Education

Finding and acting on the right answers are bigger than any one company, one government, or one nation. This is our shared moment.

I am sharing the report and all of the resources with you–so that you can become more conversant on the issues and share them with your friends, family, civic leaders, colleagues, and elected officials. This is an exciting and challenging time to people a young person in the world. Let us all work together to make it a positive and productive time for this next generation. Thanks for your partnership.

Opportunity for Action” report.
Opportunity for Action  site, Microsoft Corporate Citizenship
Microsoft’s Brad Smith Participates in Digital Town Hall on Jobs and Educating the Next Generation to Compete,” Microsoft on the Issues Blog