The unemployment rata among young Americans is roughly double the national unemployment rate. Aside from the obvious problem of having many recently-graduated individuals out of work, other issues arise, including:
-Recent graduates will face a challenge when the economy improves if they can’t show they’ve had relevant experience during their unemployed period. There needs to be opportunities to allow people to keep their skills fresh and up to date.
-People are going back to school thinking that this is a solution to their problems. This is not the case. More education will not necessarily result in someone getting a job. The real issue is a disconnect between the jobs that will be created in years to come and the knowledge currently being acquired by those in college. In fact, we may have too many people in 4 year colleges and not enough people going to trade and vocational schools to acquire skills in home health and green tech for example.
We developed four policy recommendations in our forum but we also came up with more questions that need to be addressed. You can find them below and I am eager to get people’s feedback on any of these:
• How do we begin the shift of encouraging the completion of vocational degrees in lieu of 4-year-degrees, if job opportunities requiring vocational degrees are far more plentiful in the future?
• How can we cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit in young adults?
• How soon should we start engaging young people to think about their career paths?
• Are educational institutions responsible for helping students find jobs?
• As employers, should we become more flexible about on-the-job experience if many new graduates do not have the skill set required?
• Should all internships be paid?
• How can cities become more involved in the career placement or training of their youth?
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