1.8 billion people in the world are between 10 and 24 years old. They are among the most affected by the COVID-19 crisis and need to be included in building a sustainable, inclusive and green recovery.
To bring youth voices into policy debates, the OECD has created Youthwise – an advisory group of people between 18 and 30 years old – as part of our “I am the future of work” campaign and the OECD Youth Action Plan we are developing to help countries design better policies for young people.
The Youthwise delegates will:
Youthwise was officially launched with a session on identifying the challenges facing young people today and priority actions to support them to thrive in their professional lives.
The session kicked off with introductory remarks by the former OECD Secretary-General. This was followed by keynote speeches from the Director for Employment, Labour, and Social Affairs Stefano Scarpetta, the French Ambassador Muriel Pénicaud, and on behalf of Youthwise.
Youthwise members then further discussed their ideas on challenges and solutions with OECD experts in 4 breakout sessions. It was a great start to Youthwise’s engagement with the OECD!
The OECD hosted its first consultation of the year with the Youth20 (Y20) on the Future of Work and digitalization of the labour market.
The event began with a short introduction from Anthony Gooch, Director of Public Affairs and Communications at the OECD, highlighting the importance of youth engagement in the OECD's work and the fruitful relationship it has garnered with the Y20.
Then followed a presentation by Stefano Scarpetta, Director for Employment, Labour, and Social Affairs at the OECD, who spoke, among other things, on automation, demographic shifts, digital skills, and the impact of COVID-19 on youth employment.
Y20 chair Alberta Pelino then took the floor, followed by representatives from Italy, China, Canada, and Saudi Arabia, to share their findings and vision for the communique they will provide to leaders and ministers during the G20.
With Youthwise members also in attendance as observers, this event proved to be an excellent opportunity for youth engagement in policymaking.
Youthwise met with five Permanent Representatives to the OECD to discuss the Organisation’s revised Vision Statement. The Statement’s aim is to reaffirm the OECD’s core values, its commitment to addressing present and future challenges, and provide a refreshed outlook for the Organisation.
The brainstorming session was an opportunity for Youthwise to share their reactions to the draft, to engage with Dutch Ambassador Biessen, Canadian Ambassador Chenette, Turkish Ambassador Alkin, Spanish Ambassador Escudero and Slovak Ambassador Ružička, and to ask thoughtful questions as OECD stakeholders.
In particular, Youthwise underscored that the climate and biodiversity crises are existential and require immediate action. Moreover, sustainable jobs and the future of work (including digitalisation, the gig economy, skills, and entrepreneurship) were focal points of discussion. How to best enact change and what role the OECD should have on the international stage was also deliberated.
The exchange provided valuable youth perspectives to the Ambassadors who will continue working on the Vision Statement over the coming months.
Youthwise members met with Senior Economist Veerle Miranda from the OECD Directorate for Employment, Labour, and Social Affairs. The focus of the brainstorming session was on the OECD’s Youth Action Plan.
Youthwise members identified many positives within the Youth Action Plan, as well as areas for expansion. The discussion that ensued covered various topics: from guaranteed and quality employment opportunities, the climate and biodiversity crises, civic education, public-private collaboration to future challenges aside from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The comments provided by Youthwise members will now feed into the ongoing work that the OECD is undertaking on developing its Youth Recommendation.
The future of work is now. Digitalisation and globalisation have sparked radical shifts in how we live and work. The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has accelerated these beyond anything we could have imagined.
These changes raise essential questions about the precarity of our jobs, the support available if we're unable to work or retire, the skills we need for current and future jobs, the quality of those jobs, and what voice we have in shaping these outcomes.
Applicants had to:
An inter-generational jury of OECD professionals from the Public affairs and Communications and the Public Governance directorates reviewed applications aiming to create a diverse, representative group of young people.
The standard term of appointment for each member will be from March until December 2021. Members commit to attend regular meetings with Youthwise members and contribute in meetings with OECD experts. Some reading to do ahead of time (approximately one hour per meeting) will be considered.
Please note that, given the COVID-19 public health crisis, all Youthwise activities are currently planned as virtual events, without travel involved, though this may change as the health situation evolves.